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Legislative debates make democracy and representation work. Political actors engage in legislative debates to make their voice heard to voters. Parties use debates to shore up their brand.
This book makes the most comprehensive study of legislative debates thus far, looking at the politics of legislative debates in 33 liberal democracies in Europe, North America and Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.
The book begins with theoretical chapters focused on the key concepts in the study of legislative debates. Michael Laver, Slapin and Proksch, and Taylor examine the politics of legislative debates in parliamentary and presidential democracies. Subsequently, Goplerud makes a critical review of the methodological challenges in the study of legislative debates. Schwalbach and Rauh further discuss the difficulties in the comparative empirical study of debates. Country-chapters offer a wealth of original material organized around structured sections. Each chapter begins with a details discussion of the institutional design, focusing on the electoral system, legislative organization, and party parties, to which a section on the formal and informal rules of legislative debates ensues. Next, each country chapter focuses on analyzing the determinants of floor access, with a particular emphasis on the role of gender, seniority, legislative party positions, among others. In the concluding chapter, the editors explore comparative patterns and point out to multiple research avenues opened by this edited volume.