© 2016

Political Parties, Parliaments and Legislative Speechmaking


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Hanna Bäck, Marc Debus
    Pages 1-19
  3. Hanna Bäck, Marc Debus
    Pages 20-47
  4. Hanna Bäck, Marc Debus
    Pages 48-74
  5. Hanna Bäck, Marc Debus
    Pages 75-110
  6. Hanna Bäck, Marc Debus
    Pages 111-141
  7. Hanna Bäck, Marc Debus
    Pages 142-165
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 166-192

About this book


In analysing speeches made by legislators, this book provides theoretical and empirical answers to questions such as: Why do some Members of Parliament (MPs) take the parliamentary floor and speak more than others, and why do some MPs deviate more than others from the ideological position of their party? The authors evaluate their hypotheses on legislative speechmaking by considering parliamentary debates in seven European democracies: Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Norway and Sweden. Assuming that MPs are concerned with policy-making, career advancement, and re-election, the book discusses various incentives to taking the floor, and elaborates on the role of gender and psychological incentives in speechmaking. The authors test our expectations on a novel dataset that covers information on the number of speeches held by MPs and on the ideological positions MPs adopted when delivering a speech.


European Parliament parliament Political Parties European Union Speechmaking

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Lund UniversitySweden
  2. 2.University of MannheimGermany

About the authors

Hanna Bäck is Professor of Political Science at Lund University, Sweden, and has previously held positions at the European University Institute and the University of Mannheim, Germany. Her research focuses mainly on political parties and coalition politics.

Marc Debus is Professor of Comparative Government at the University of Mannheim, Germany. His research interests include political institutions, party competition, coalition politics, and political decision-making in multi-level systems.

Bibliographic information

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To date, too little attention has focused on the words of legislators on the floor of the chamber. This book provides a welcome and study of speeches in parliament, showing that gender, an MP's role and constituency characteristics shapes who talks and how loyal MPs are to their party when talking. Bäck and Debus have produced an exemplary piece of comparative research and a must-read for anyone interested in political parties or parliaments.' – Shane Martin, University of Leicester, UK