Tag: parliamentary decision-making

  • Parliamentary debates and decision-making on Afghanistan

    The January 2022 issue of Orient: Deutsche Zeitschrift für Politik, Wirtschaft und Kultur des Orients/ German Journal for Politics, Economics and Culture of the Middle East features my article on “German Parliamentary Debates and Decision-Making on Afghanistan”. The piece reviews German engagement in Afghanistan with a focus on parliamentary involvement. The article can be accessed here.

    Abstract: The fall of Kabul in August 2021 marked the end of 20 years of German civilian and military engagement in Afghanistan. Over this time, more than 90,000 Bundeswehr soldiers were deployed in Afghanistan, 59 of whom died there. At a cost of about EUR 12.3 bn, the engagement in the Afghanistan missions amounted to the largest and most costly military operation in the history of the Bundeswehr. This contribution reflects upon parliamentary involvement throughout this period, placing emphasis on the initial political decisions and turning points of the Afghanistan engagement.

  • BJPIR Most Cited Article

    BJPIR Most Cited Article

    The British Journal of Politics and International Relations (BJPIR) highlights our article “Parliaments in Security Policy: Involvement, Politicisation, and Influence” (with Dirk Peters, Peace Research Institute Frankfurt) as the most cited article in this journal in the last 3 years (as of January 7, 2021). Notably, 5 of the 10 most cited articles stem from our special issue on parliaments and security policy. Thanks to all our contributors for turning this collective project into such a success!

    Abstract: While parliaments have long been neglected actors in the analysis of security policy, a research literature on the subject is growing. Current research is focused primarily on how parliaments, relying on formal legal competences, can constrain governmental policies. However, this research needs expansion in three areas. First, informal sources of parliamentary influence on security policy deserve more systematic attention as the significance of parliaments often hinges on contextual factors and individual decision-makers. Second, we still lack a systematic understanding of the effects of parliamentary involvement on security policy. Finally, the role of parliaments for the politics of security is almost completely uncharted territory. When parliaments become involved in security policy, does it foster transparency and contribute to the politicisation of security policy so that security policy becomes a ‘normal’ political issue? The article reviews current research, derives findings from the contributions to this Special Issue, and spells out their wider implications.

    Introduction to the special issue:

    Mello, Patrick A., and Dirk Peters (2018) ‘Parliaments in Security Policy: Involvement, Politicisation, and Influence’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745684.

    Contributing articles:

    Strong, James (2018) ‘The War Powers of the British Parliament: What Has Been Established and What Remains Unclear?’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745767.

    Kaarbo, Juliet (2018) ‘Prime Minister Leadership Style and the Role of Parliament in Security Policy’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745679.

    Kriner, Douglas L. (2018) ‘Congress, Public Opinion, and an Informal Constraint on the Commander-in-Chief’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745860.

    Rosén, Guri, and Kolja Raube (2018) ‘Influence Beyond Formal Powers: The Parliamentarisation of European Union Security Policy’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117747105.

    Schade, Daniel (2018) ‘Limiting or Liberating? The Influence of Parliaments on Military Deployments in Multinational Settings’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117746918.

    Oktay, Sibel (2018) ‘Chamber of Opportunities: Legislative Politics and Coalition Security Policy’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745680.

    Wagner, Wolfgang (2018) ‘Is There a Parliamentary Peace? Parliamentary Veto Power and Military Interventions from Kosovo to Daesh’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745859.

    Lagassé, Philippe, and Patrick A. Mello (2018) ‘The Unintended Consequences of Parliamentary Involvement: Elite Collusion and Afghanistan Deployments in Canada and Germany’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745681.

    Raunio, Tapio (2018) ‘Parliament as an Arena for Politicization: The Finnish Eduskunta and Crisis Management Operations’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745682.

    Hegemann, Hendrik (2018) ‘Towards ‘Normal’ Politics? Security, Parliaments and the Politicisation of Intelligence Oversight in the German Bundestag’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745683.

  • Von der Bonner zur Berliner Republik

    Von der Bonner zur Berliner Republik

    Sammelband der DVPW-Themengruppe Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik

    In der  bei Nomos erscheinenden Buchreihe “Außenpolitik und Internationale Ordnung” (Herausgeber: Hanns W. Maull und Sebastian Harnisch) ist der von Klaus Brummer und Friedrich Kießling herausgegebene Sammelband Zivilmacht Bundesrepublik? Bundesdeutsche außenpolitische Rollen vor und nach 1989 aus politik- und geschichtswissenschaftlichen Perspektiven erschienen.

    Die Publikation ist der dritte bisher erschienene Sammelband in der “Edition Themengruppe Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik“. Weitere Bände sind Chinesische Seidenstraßeninitiative und amerikanische Gewichtsverlagerung (Hansel/Harnisch/Godehardt, Hrsg. 2018) sowie Sonderbeziehungen als Nexus zwischen Außenpolitik und internationalen Beziehungen (Harnisch/Brummer/Oppermann, Hrsg. 2015).

    Weiterführende Informationen zur Themengruppe Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik gibt es auf der DVPW-Webseite. Dort ist auch die Anmeldung zur Mailingliste der Themengruppe möglich. Der Twitter-Account ist @dvpw_aussenpol.

    Mein Kapitel “Von der Bonner zur Berliner Republik” (PDF) untersucht für den Zeitraum 1990 bis 2018  parlamentarische Debatten zu 40 Auslandseinsätzen der Bundeswehr im Hinblick auf deren Resonanz mit dem rollentheoretischen Konzept der “Zivilmacht”. Die quantitative Textanalyse zeigt im Zeitverlauf eine deutliche Abnahme der Verwendung zivilmachtstheoretischer Rhetorik:

    “Während die Debatten Anfang der 1990er Jahre noch von einer hohen Resonanz mit dem Zivilmachtkonzept geprägt waren, so zeigt sich seither eine kontinuierliche Abnahme. Dies kann als Anzeichen für einen „Wandel“ in der deutschen Außenpolitik und ihrer politischen Rechtfertigung gesehen werden. Zweitens konnte die Analyse Unterschiede zwischen den Einsatztypen identifizieren. So zeigen die Plenardebatten zu NATO-Einsätzen eine höhere Übereinstimmung mit dem Zivilmachtkonzept auf als UN- oder EU-Missionen. Statistisch signifikant sind dabei die Zivilmacht-Werte der Debatten zu EU-Einsätzen, welche im Vergleich zur Gesamtheit der untersuchten Plenardebatten erheblich niedriger liegen” (Mello 2019: 310).

  • Vortrag an der TU Chemnitz

    Vortrag an der TU Chemnitz

    Parlamentarische Kontrolle und Streitkräfteinsätze

    Am 12. Dezember 2019 habe ich am Institut für Politikwissenschaft der Technischen Universität Chemnitz im Rahmen der Vorlesung “Einführung in die Außenpolitikanalyse” von Prof. Dr. Kai Oppermann einen Vortrag zum Thema “Parlamente in der Sicherheitspolitik: Erfüllungsgehilfen oder Vetospieler?” gehalten.

    Der Vortrag bot einen Überblick über die jüngere Forschung zu parlamentarischen Kontrollrechten bei Streitkräfteneinsätzen (Mello & Peters 2017; 2018) sowie eine Erörterung der These des “parlamentarischen Friedens” (Dieterich et al. 2015; Wagner 2018). Zudem wurde die  Entwicklung einer neuen politischen Konvention parlamentarischer Beteiligung in Großbritannien anhand von Abstimmungen und Debatten zu Militäreinsätzen unter der Regierung Cameron (2010-2016) nachgezeichnet (Mello 2017). Zuletzt wurde die parlamentarische Beteiligung in Deutschland und Kanada während der Afghanistan-Einsätze verglichen, unter Berücksichtigung von öffentlicher Meinung und Medienberichterstattung (Lagassé & Mello 2018).

    Informationen zu aktuellen Veranstaltungen der Professur Internationale Politik der TU Chemnitz finden sich hier. Vielen Dank für die Einladung nach Chemnitz!

  • Parliaments in Security Policy

    Parliaments in Security Policy

    BJPIR Special Issue – Parliaments in Security Policy: Involvement, Politicisation, and Influence

    The British Journal of Politics and International Relations (BJPIR) has published a Special Issue, guest edited by Patrick A. Mello and Dirk Peters: “Parliaments in Security Policy: Involvement, Politicisation, and Influence”.

    The special issue focuses on the pivotal democratic institution – parliament – to study legislative involvement in security matters and its effects on policy outcomes. The  contributing articles employ a diverse set of theoretical perspectives and methods to explore the role of 11 different parliamentary bodies from a broad range of contemporary Western democracies.

    BJPIR is a peer reviewed journal of the Political Studies Association of the UK with an Impact Factor of 1.423 (2016) and Rankings of 62/165 in Political Science and 24/86 in International Relations [More Information].

    Abstract: “While parliaments have long been neglected actors in the analysis of security policy, a research literature on the subject is growing. Current research is focused primarily on how parliaments, relying on formal legal competences, can constrain governmental policies. However, this research needs expansion in three areas. First, informal sources of parliamentary influence on security policy deserve more systematic attention as the significance of parliaments often hinges on contextual factors and individual decision-makers. Second, we still lack a systematic understanding of the effects of parliamentary involvement on security policy. Finally, the role of parliaments for the politics of security is almost completely uncharted territory. When parliaments become involved in security policy, does it foster transparency and contribute to the politicisation of security policy so that security policy becomes a ‘normal’ political issue? The article reviews current research, derives findings from the contributions to this Special Issue, and spells out their wider implications.” [Read Further]

    Introduction to the Special Issue:

    Mello, Patrick A., and Dirk Peters (2018) ‘Parliaments in Security Policy: Involvement, Politicisation, and Influence’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745684.

    Contributing Articles (in alphabetical order):

    Hegemann, Hendrik (2018) ‘Towards ‘Normal’ Politics? Security, Parliaments and the Politicisation of Intelligence Oversight in the German Bundestag’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745683.

    Kaarbo, Juliet (2018) ‘Prime Minister Leadership Style and the Role of Parliament in Security Policy’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745679.

    Kriner, Douglas L. (2018) ‘Congress, Public Opinion, and an Informal Constraint on the Commander-in-Chief’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745860.

    Lagassé, Philippe, and Patrick A. Mello (2018) ‘The Unintended Consequences of Parliamentary Involvement: Elite Collusion and Afghanistan Deployments in Canada and Germany’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745681.

    Oktay, Sibel (2018) ‘Chamber of Opportunities: Legislative Politics and Coalition Security Policy’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745680.

    Raunio, Tapio (2018) ‘Parliament as an Arena for Politicization: The Finnish Eduskunta and Crisis Management Operations’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745682.

    Rosén, Guri, and Kolja Raube (2018) ‘Influence Beyond Formal Powers: The Parliamentarisation of European Union Security Policy’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117747105.

    Schade, Daniel (2018) ‘Limiting or Liberating? The Influence of Parliaments on Military Deployments in Multinational Settings’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117746918.

    Strong, James (2018) ‘The War Powers of the British Parliament: What Has Been Established and What Remains Unclear?’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745767.

    Wagner, Wolfgang (2018) ‘Is There a Parliamentary Peace? Parliamentary Veto Power and Military Interventions from Kosovo to Daesh’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745859.

  • Parliaments in Peace and Security Policy

    Parliaments in Peace and Security Policy

    Parliaments in Peace and Security Policy: Recent Research on the Parliamentary Control of Military Missions

    Abstract: Since the 1990s, parliaments in many democracies have become more involved in the formulation and implementation of security policy. A growing number of studies in comparative politics and international relations address this phenomenon and examine the role of parliaments in decisions on war and peace, particularly on the deployment of military forces. This article reviews and summarizes this research and identifies three major trends in recent contributions. Research increasingly moves beyond a focus on formal competences and the right of parliaments to veto deployments, beyond treating parliaments as unitary actors, and beyond an exclusive focus on individual national parliaments [Read Further]

    Keywords: parliaments, parliamentary control, oversight, military deployments

    Mello, Patrick A. und Dirk Peters (2017) Parlamente in der Friedens- und Sicherheitspolitik: Parlamentarische Kontrolle von Streitkräfteeinsätzen im Licht der Forschung, Sicherheit und Frieden 35:2, 53-59.

    Stichwörter: Parlamente, parlamentarische Kontrolle, Aufsichtsfunktion, Militäreinsätze

  • Lecture at Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, KU Leuven

    Lecture at Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, KU Leuven

    Patrick A. Mello on ‘Parliamentary Rebellion in Cases of War and Peace? Comparing the UK and Germany’

    Jean Monnet Network PACO, 2017 Spring Lecture Series: Rebels With a Cause? Parliamentary Resilience in European and Global Governance

    Lecture Series Introduction:European and global governance have in common that they refer to policy-making and problem-solving beyond traditional nation states. Often, the role of parliaments in their capacity as legislators, scrutinizers of executives and democratic gatekeepers is overlooked in this regard. There have been notorious cases in the past, such as the US Senate’s non-approval of the League of Nations and International Trade Organization charters, or the French Assemblée’s non-approval of the European Defence Community. Recently, parliaments have become increasingly more assertive, as inter alia illustrated by the European Parliament’s rejection of the SWIFT and ACTA agreements, and by the Walloon Parliament’s resistance to CETA.

    The present lecture series addresses the evolving roles of parliaments in European and global governance by looking in particular at such ‘parliamentary rebellions’. This refers to situations in which parliaments actively use their prerogatives to challenge decision-making and diplomacy in European and global governance. Parliamentary rebellions appear to take place for various reasons. The lecture series provides various ‘tales’ of such rebellions in order to understand and explain the causes, factors and forces that drive parliaments when they threaten to veto international treaties or use their parliamentary prerogatives, for instance by voting against military interventions [Read Further] [Lecture Brochure]

  • Special Issue on “Parliaments and Security Policy”

    Special Issue on “Parliaments and Security Policy”

    Proposal for a Special Issue on “Parliaments and Security Policy” Accepted by BJPIR

    The Editors of The British Journal of Politics and International Relations (BJPIR) have accepted a proposal for a special issue on “Parliaments and Security Policy”, guest-edited by Patrick A. Mello and Dirk Peters, to be published in early 2018.

    BJPIR is a peer reviewed journal of the Political Studies Association of the UK with an Impact Factor of 1.423 (2016) and Rankings of 62/165 in Political Science and 24/86 in International Relations [More Information].

    Summary: This special issue zeroes in on the pivotal democratic institution – parliament – to study legislative involvement in security matters and its effects on policy outcomes. The contributions employ a diverse set of theoretical perspectives and methods to explore the role of parliaments across a broad range of contemporary Western democracies. In doing so, they address three central questions:

    (1) What are the opportunity structures for parliamentary involvement in security policy? IR studies often view security policy as dominated by the executive and parliamentary involvement as narrowly circumscribed by constitutional rules. The contributions show that parliamentary influence on security policy is not determined by the extent of formal competences. Instead, we highlight the role of executive leadership styles, of coalition politics, and of parliamentarians’ strategies to make the case for a richer and dynamic understanding of parliaments in security policy.

    (2) Are parliaments sites of politicization of security policy? There is a widely-held belief in politics and political theory that parliamentary involvement contributes to the contestation and politicization of security decisions, which is seen by some as endangering the effectiveness of security policy and by others as a welcome challenge to executive dominance and a step towards democratization of this policy field. To examine this assumption, we provide cross-case comparisons of parliamentary politics in the security realm. We show that parliamentary involvement can affect public opinion on executive policies but that parliaments can also contribute to the de-politicization of security issues.

    (3) What is the effect of parliamentary participation in security policy? Against the background of insights about the opportunity structure for parliamentary involvement and the parliamentary politics of security, contributions address the effects on policy outcomes. In particular, we examine whether there is cross-country evidence for a “parliamentary peace” and whether parliamentary war powers entail unintended consequences that run counter to normative expectations or historical aims.

  • Parliamentary peace or partisan politics?

    Parliamentary peace or partisan politics?

    Parliamentary peace or partisan politics? Democracies’ participation in the Iraq War

    Abstract:This paper seeks to explain democracies’ military participation in the Iraq War. Prior studies have identified institutional and partisan differences as potential explanatory factors for the observed variance. The interaction of institutions and partisanship, however, has gone largely unobserved. I argue that these factors must be analyzed in conjunction: institutional constraints presume actors that fulfill their role as veto players to the executive. Likewise, partisan politics is embedded in institutional frames that enable or constrain decision-making. Hence I suggest a comparative approach that combines these factors to explain why some democracies joined the ad hoc coalition against Iraq and others did not. To investigate the interaction between institutions, partisanship and war participation I apply fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA). The analysis reveals that the conjunction of right-of-center governments with an absence of both parliamentary veto rights and constitutional restrictions was sufficient for participation in the Iraq War. In turn, for countries where the constitution requires parliamentary approval of military deployments, the distribution of preferences within the legislature proved to be decisive for military participation or non-participation.

    Keywords: democratic peace; fuzzy sets; institutional constraints; Iraq War; QCA

    Mello, Patrick A. (2012) Parliamentary Peace or Partisan Politics? Democracies’ Participation in the Iraq War, Journal of International Relations and Development 15:3, 420-53 [More Information]