Towards an Interpretive Parliamentary Studies
Geddes, M. and Rhodes, R. A. W. ‘Towards an Interpretive Parliamentary Studies’, in Jennifer Brichzin, Damien Krichewsky, Leopold Ringel, and Jan Schank (Eds.) The Sociology of Parliaments. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.
This chapter argues the case for an interpretive approach to parliamentary studies in the UK and beyond. The chapter begins with a summary of the traditional institutionalist approach to, and the debates that have preoccupied scholars studying, the UK Parliament. The second section turns to the contribution from new institutionalism before outlining in the third section a growing interpretive approach that focuses analysis on the ideas, beliefs, practices and traditions that constitute Parliament. Finally, we illustrate the case for an interpretive approach by reviewing briefly some of the few studies in this idiom. The chapter concludes that the interpretive trend is positive because it enhances the diversity of parliamentary studies, both within the UK and beyond. It broadens the research agenda, diversifies the toolkit for studying parliaments, and creates stronger links to wider debates in political science.