Researching ritual and the symbolic in parliaments: An institutionalist perspective

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This article proposes a new research agenda for understanding and analysing legislatures and their activities together with some additional tools and approaches hitherto rather neglected within legislative studies that could be used more systematically to help us to unravel and answer key questions. In particular, it suggests that we need to broaden the approaches used in legislative studies so that they can incorporate not just a wider range of institutional approaches than are commonly used in the field at the moment, but also another missing dimension - ritual and the symbolic (R&S) - within that. It focuses on ritual within institutionalist analysis and argues that the incorporation of ritual actually fits in with recent developments in the wider field of institutional analysis that have focused on the centrality of rules, norms and both formal and informal institutions in understanding institutions. The development of this approach will enhance both institutional analyses and legislative studies. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-365
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Legislative Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010


  • Institutional analysis
  • Legislatures
  • Rituals
  • Rules


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