Dramas at Westminster

Select committees and the quest for accountability

By Marc Geddes

Dramas at Westminster


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3680-0
  • Pages: 192
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: November 2019
  • BIC Category: HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Comparative Politics, Society & social sciences / Politics & government, Parliamentary & Legislative Practice, Society & social sciences / Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography
  • Series: Political Ethnography


Based on unprecedented access to the UK Parliament, this book challenges how we understand and think about accountability between government and Parliament. The book focuses on the everyday practices of MPs and officials to reveal how parliamentarians perform their scrutiny roles. Many adopt different styles of scrutiny, which chairs of committees attempt to reconcile and officials try to support. MPs and officials create a drama or spectacle of accountability and use their performance on the parliamentary stage to hold government to account. This book offers the most up-to-date and detailed research on committee practices in the House of Commons, following a range of reforms since 2010. The findings add new dimensions to how we study and understand accountability through the book's path-breaking empirical focus and theoretical lens. It is an ideal book for anyone interested in how Parliament works.


List of tables
Series editor's preface
List of abbreviations

1 The quest for accountability
2 Perspectives on Parliament
3 Performing scrutiny
4 Catalysts versus chieftains
5 Hidden servants
6 Scenes of scrutiny
7 Building webs of scrutiny
8 Dramas at Westminster

Annex: Methodological reflections

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