1st Edition

Reforming Senates Upper Legislative Houses in North Atlantic Small Powers 1800-present

    288 Pages
    by Routledge

    286 Pages
    by Routledge

    This new study of senates in small powers across the North Atlantic shows that the establishment and the reform of these upper legislative houses have followed remarkably parallel trajectories. Senate reforms emerged in the wake of deep political crises within the North Atlantic world and were influenced by the comparatively weak positions of small powers. Reformers responded to crises and constantly looked beyond borders and oceans for inspiration to keep their senates relevant.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9780429323119, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

    List of figures

    List of contributors


    Karel Davids

    Reforming Senates in the Post-Revolutionary North-Atlantic World. An Introduction

    Nikolaj Bijleveld and Wybren Verstegen

    Part I: The Need for a Senate (c. 1790-c. 1870)

    Senates and Bicameralism in Revolutionary Europe (c. 1795-1800)

    Joris Oddens

    The Rise and Fall of the Quasi-bicameral System of Norway (1814-2007)

    Eivind Smith

    Members of the Senate in the Southern Netherlands (Belgium) between Restoration and Revolution (1815-1831)

    Els Witte

    A Liberal Senate. The Danish Landsting of 1849

    Flemming Juul Christiansen

    The Senate of Canada: Renewed Life to an Original Intent

    David E. Smith

    Part II: Democracy, the people and the senate (c. 1848-c. 1935)

    Constitutional Conservatism, Anti-Democratic Ideology, and the Elective Principle in British North America’s Upper Legislative Houses, 1848-1867

    Colin Grittner

    Aristocratic populism. The Belgian Senate and the Language of Democracy, 1848-1893

    Marnix Beyen

    Rejecting the Upper Chamber: National Unity, Democratisation and Imperial Rule in the Grand Duchy of Finland, 1860-1906

    Onni Pekonen

    The Swedish Senate 1867-1970. From Elitist Moderniser to Democratic Subordinate

    Torbjörn Nilsson

    The Senate and the ‘Social Majority’. Joannes Theodorus Buijs (1826-1893) about a ‘Meritocracy’ in The Netherlands (1848-1887)

    Wybren Verstegen

    The Irish Senate 1920-1936

    John Dorney

    Part III: Does a state still need a Senate? (c. 1920-present)

    The Vitality of the Dutch Senate. Two Centuries of Reforms and Staying in Power

    Bert van den Braak

    Marginalising the Upper House. Canada's Liberal Party, the Senate and Democratic Reform in 1920s Canada

    Adam Coombs

    Vocational Voices or Puppets of the Lower House? Irish Senators, 1938-1948

    Martin O’Donoghue

    The Rise and Fall of Bicameralism in Sweden 1866-1970

    Joakim Nergelius

    Unicameralism in Denmark: Abolition of the Senate, Current Functioning and Debates

    Asbjørn Skjæveland

    Precarious bicameralism? Senates in Ireland from the late Middle Ages to the Present

    Muiris MacCarthaigh and Shane Martin

    Founding principles, constitutional conventions, and the representation of Francophones living outside of Quebec in the Canadian Senate since 1867

    Linda Cardinal



    Nikolaj Bijleveld, historian, is a staff member at the University of Groningen.

    Colin Grittner teaches Canadian history in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and has held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of British Columbia and the University of New Brunswick.

    David E. Smith is a former president of the Canadian Political Science Association and the author of a number of books on the Canadian Parliament and on Canadian federalism.

    Wybren Verstegen is Associate Professor in Economic and Social History at Vrije University, Amsterdam.