Dr Frank Haege, Department of Politics and Public Administration, presented a paper at the Biennial European Studies Association (EUSA) Conference on 5th May 2017 in Miami. EUSA is the largest professional body devoted to European Studies in the United States, and its conferences are attended by several hundred scholars from both sides of the Atlantic.

The paper presented at the conference is entitled ‘Rapporteur-Shadow Rapporteur Networks and Policy-Making in the European Parliament’. It examines the factors that determine the active involvement and influence of legislators in the drafting of EU law at the committee stage of legislative proceedings in the EP. Relying on network analytical methods, the study maps the collaborative relationships between committee members on a large scale and in a quantitative manner. These policy-making networks are then analysed in terms of the participation and centrality of different legislators. Any systematic underrepresentation of members from particular party groups – be it through self-marginalization or exclusion by others – has important consequences for the legitimacy of the EP as a democratic decision-making body. The study finds that the participation and centrality of legislators in policy-making networks depends on the size of their party group and their ideological position, with members of smaller party groups and members with green-alternative-libertarian views being more likely to participate and to be more central than members of larger groups and members with traditional-authoritarian-nationalist views.

The paper is co-authored with Dr Nils Ringe from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Apart from presenting the findings from the current study, the conference also provided an opportunity for planning follow-up projects in the future.

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