A Place at the Table? Parliamentary Committees, Witnesses and the Scrutiny of Government Actions and Legislation

Bochel, Hugh and Berthier, Anouk (2019) A Place at the Table? Parliamentary Committees, Witnesses and the Scrutiny of Government Actions and Legislation. Social Policy and Society . ISSN 1474-7464

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1474746418000490

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A Place at the Table? Parliamentary Committees, Witnesses and the Scrutiny of Government Actions and Legislation

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Issues of diversity in elected bodies have been highlighted in recent years, both with regard to elected representatives themselves, and, more recently, in respect of the treatment of those working in such institutions, especially women. This article focuses on another aspect of diversity, inequality and representation, the voices heard by parliamentary committees in their scrutiny of government actions and legislation.
The article discusses the current position in the Scottish Parliament (and other UK legislatures), with, for example, around three-fifths of witnesses at Holyrood being male, and highlights both ‘demand’ and ‘supply’ factors that influence the make-up of committee witnesses. It also identifies a number of functions that witnesses can play for committees, and how these relate to diversity and representation, and suggests that there may be benefits to committees and legislatures from hearing from a wider range of voices.

Keywords:Diversity, representation, gender, Scottish Parliament, participation, committees
Subjects:L Social studies > L400 Social Policy
L Social studies > L230 UK Government/Parliamentary Studies
L Social studies > L410 UK Social Policy
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:34653
Deposited On:14 Feb 2019 08:45

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