This comprehensive book analyses the development of the legislatures in the Iberian countries over the past 40 years, since democracy was introduced, to comparatively understand their role in these political systems and in sustaining their democratic systems.
Sharing many historical developments and institutional characteristics, Spain and Portugal also present crucial differences, notably Spain’s pure parliamentary system, a King as Head of State and a quasi-federal structure, and Portugal’s semi-presidential democracy. Starting with a historical and institutional contextualization of these two legislatures, the book examines the most important organizational and behavioural features of legislative life in Iberian legislatures in a comparative perspective. It also shows how new legislatures develop resilience capacity to support lasting democratic systems as fully fledged institutionalized bodies.
This book will be of key interest to scholars and students of Spain and Portugal, legislative politics and parliamentarianism, and more broadly to European politics and comparative politics, journalists and practitioners.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction [Jorge M. Fernandes]
Section I: Historical Background
2. The Portuguese Assembleia da República in Context [Eunice Goes and Cristina Leston-Bandeira]
3. The Spanish Parliament in Context [Bonnie N. Field and Caroline Gray]
Section II: Internal Organization Structures
4. Parliamentary Party Groups in the Iberian Legislatures [Carlos Jalali and Juan Rodríguez Teruel]
5. Committee Systems in Portugal and Spain [Jorge M. Fernandes and Pedro Riera]
Section III: Representation and Actors
6. Social Distance and Ideological Congruence between MPs and Citizens: Iberian Legislatures before and after the Great Recession [André Freire and Xavier Coller]
7. The Diversity Gap in the Portuguese and Spanish Parliaments: Descriptive Representation Through an Intersectional Perspective [Ana Espírito-Santo, Tània Verge, and Laura Morales]
8. Interest Groups in the Iberian Legislatures [Marco Lisi and Luz Muñoz Marquez]
9. Iberian Citizens’ Attitudes towards Parliament and Representation [José Santana-Pereira and Irene Martín]
Section IV: Legislative Processes
10. The Legislative Role of Iberian Legislatures [Cláudia Ribeiro, Mercedes Araújo and Sónia Rodrigues]
11. Parliamentary Accountability [Manuel Sánchez de Dios]
Section V: Relations with Other Bodies
12. The Participation of the Spanish and the Portuguese Parliaments in the Activity of the European Union [Elviro Aranda Álvarez and Paulo Sande]
13. The Relationship between Regional and National Parliaments in Spain and Portugal [Pablo Oñate and Ana M. Belchior]
14. Constitutional Courts and National Parliaments in Spain and Portugal [Nuno Garoupa, Joan Solanes Mullor, Teresa Violante]
Conclusion [Jorge M. Fernandes]
Jorge M. Fernandes is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal. His work has appeared, among others, in Comparative Political Studies, European Journal of Political Research, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and Party Politics. His research interests are representation, legislatures, political parties, electoral parties, and Portuguese politics. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the Center for European Studies, Harvard University and at UC San Diego.
Cristina Leston-Bandeira is a Professor of Politics at the University of Leeds, UK. She has worked on parliaments for over 20 years and is a key scholar on the Portuguese Parliament. She is Co-Director of the Centre for Democratic Engagement and the Chair of the UK Study of Parliament Group. She is also co-editor of the journal Parliamentary Affairs and a Constitution Unit Fellow.