1st Edition

Ceremony and Ritual in Parliament

Edited By Shirin M. Rai Copyright 2011

    Ceremony and Ritual in Parliament breaks new ground in the study of legislatures. It combines mainstream historical and social science approaches with cultural theory to consider how parliamentary ritual is constructed through ceremony, space and socialisation. The focus is on the marginalised groups especially women and members of ethnic minorities who seek inclusion as representatives in democratic legislatures.

    This book assesses aspects of the role that ceremony and ritual in legislatures play, especially but not exclusively, in their gendered and racialised dimensions. Within this broad frame, it considers the impact of space, identity, ritual and/or ceremony on the institutional form of parliament, how power is shaped within it, how the behaviour of members is facilitated, constrained and shaped, how power and rituals interact to and how they impinge upon the relationships between representative institutions and citizens. Contributions are theoretical and empirical, comparative or single-country studies of national or sub-national legislatures. They have interdisciplinary, historical, or postcolonial perspectives that contribute to this emerging field in the study of parliaments.

    This book was previously published as a special issue of the Journal of Legislative Studies.

    1. Introduction: Analyzing Ceremony and Ritual in Parliament (Shirin M. Rai, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick)

    2. Analysing Ceremony and Ritual in Parliament: An Institutionalist Perspective (Georgina Waylen, Department of Politics, University of Sheffield)

    3. A Methodology for Analysing Parliamentary Space (Nirmal Puwar, Department of Sociology, Goldsmith College, University of London)

    4. Rituals and symbols in the House of Lords (Emma Crewe, Visiting Reader, Department of Anthropology, School of Oriental and African Studies and Executive Director, Childhope)

    5. The Group Representative: When Identities in parliaments become important? (Karen Celis, Department of Business Administration and Public Management, University College Ghent)

    6. Parliamentarians and performativity: normative standards versus disruptive behaviour in the Indian parliament (Carole Spary, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick)

    7. Symbolising the rainbow: Glimpses of South African parliament (Surya Munro, Department of Politics, University of Sheffield)

    8. Contesting the Neutrality of the Speaker: Gender, Power, and Ceremony in the British House of Commons (Faith Armitage, Department of Politics, Birkbeck College, University of London)

    9. Gender dynamics in the Scottish parliament: rituals of the old and new (Fiona McKay, Department of Politics, University of Ediburgh)

    10. Institutionalising Exclusion: The Gendered Dimension of Formal and Informal Norms in the Chilean Congress (Susan Franceschet, Department of Political Science, University of Calgary)

    11. Conclusion: Ceremony and Ritual in Parliament in Perspective (Shirin M. Rai)


    Shirin M. Rai is Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick, UK.