Tag: parliaments

  • 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.

  • ECPR General Conference, Oslo 2017

    ECPR General Conference, Oslo 2017

    Panel P050: “Closed and Coopted? Parliamentary
    Oversight when Security is at Stake”

    Paper: “The Unintended Consequences of
    Parliamentary War Powers: A Comparative
    Analysis of Canada and Germany” (with Philippe Lagassé)

    Abstract: This paper argues that there is a need to question whether parliamentary war powers actually lead to the intended effects of increased democratic deliberation and responsiveness. We compare the unintended consequences of parliamentary votes on the use of force in two ‘most-different cases’: Canada and Germany. Despite substantive differences in the formal war powers of their parliaments, we find that military deployment votes on Afghanistan led to less democratic deliberation and responsiveness. Applying rationalist institutionalism, we argue that the deployment votes incentivized major parties to collude together to lessen debate on the Afghan mission, despite increasing public opposition and media attention. Rather than enhancing deliberation and responsiveness, as assumed by proponents of greater parliamentary war powers, these parliamentary votes effectively diminished the willingness of parties to debate the mission.

    A PDF of the conference program can be accessed here. [More Information]

  • 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.

  • The British House of Commons and the Conflicts in Libya and Syria

    The British House of Commons and the Conflicts in Libya and Syria

    Curbing the Royal Prerogative to Use Military Force: The British House of Commons and the Conflicts in Libya and Syria

    Abstract: To what extent does political practice under the British Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition (2010–2015) reflect a ‘parliamentary prerogative’? From a formal-institutional point of view one should not expect substantial parliamentary influence in Britain. Yet recent developments suggest the emergence of a new convention. Examining parliamentary debates during the run-up to the votes on Libya and Syria, this contribution shows that the scope and contents of this convention remain contested. Specifically, there is disagreement about the kind of operations that ought to be exempt from the rule, questions of parliamentary procedure that favour the executive and, crucially, the proper timing of substantive votes. Nonetheless, parliament has emerged from the vote on Syria as an informal veto player on decisions regarding war involvement. However, whether MPs will exercise their veto power in prospective cases will depend on the preference distribution in the legislature and the nature of the proposed deployment.

    Keywords: Constitutional convention, legislative–executive relations, military intervention, parliamentary war powers, prerogative powers

    Mello, Patrick A. (2017) Curbing the Royal Prerogative to Use Military Force: The British House of Commons and the Conflicts in Libya and Syria, West European Politics 40:1, 80-100 [Article]

    The paper is part of a Special Issue of West European Politics on “Challenging Executive Dominance: Legislatures and Foreign Affairs”, co-edited by Tapio Raunio and Wolfgang Wagner [Introduction to the Special Issue]

  • Parliaments in Security Policy

    Parliaments in Security Policy

    German Foundation for Peace Research (DSF) Supports Project on “Parliaments in Security Policy”

    Project Summary: The influence of parliaments on the formulation of security policy has found increasing interest in recent research. Importantly, comparative studies showed that consolidated democracies are characterized by substantial variance in the formal-institutional oversight powers of parliaments. While countries like the UK and France grant extensive powers to the executive, other countries, like Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, place military deployments under mandatory parliamentary approval. At the same time, however, research also shows that foreign policy outcomes cannot be attributed to the formal-institutional position of parliament alone. Instead, in order to explain specific policy decisions, additional factors such as party politics and ideology, parliamentary majorities, and public opinion need to be taken into account.

    Moreover, whether parliamentary control actually has the intended consequences is contested, not least from the perspective of democratic theory. In practice, even in countries which require parliamentary approval parliament rarely vetoes government decisions. Consensual cross-party decisions, however, make it difficult for voters to attribute decisions to specific political actors. This undermines the “election mechanism” prominent in democratic theory and arguments on the democratic peace. Another strand in the literature focuses on the effects of parliamentary oversight on the conduct of multilateral military operations. These studies show an increased incidence of national caveats through parliamentary oversight, i.e. there tend to be more operational restrictions, which can lead to substantial problems for the effectiveness of multilateral operations.

    Parallel to the academic debate, several western democracies witnessed an evaluation and reassessment of the relationship between the executive and parliament in terms of security policy. For instance, in Germany the current Bundestag introduced a commission to reassess parliamentary oversight procedures. In its policy recommendations, the commission suggested several options for reform, some of which would reduce existing oversight powers. In contrast, in Britain a cross-party consensus emerged in support of involving parliament in decisions on war, after the Iraq War was regarded as a failure by wide parts of the political elite and the public at large. Likewise, Spain introduced a parliamentary deployment law as a consequence of the decision to participate in Iraq. Finally, the United States saw several attempts at reforming the War Powers Resolution, which has remained contested among political actors since its introduction in 1973. During the present Congress alone, several reform initiatives were submitted but none of these passed into law.

    An authors’ workshop will take place on 22-23 September 2016 at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (Hessische Stiftung Friedens- und Konfliktforschung), co-organized by Dirk Peters (PRIF) and Patrick A. Mello (HfP). The organizers gratefully acknowledge project funding of 11,000 EUR from the German Foundation for Peace Research (Deutsche Stiftung Friedensforschung) and financial and logistial support from the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt and the Bavarian School of Public Policy at TU Munich. The workshop is organized under the auspices of and in cooperation with the DVPW-Themengruppe Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik.

    Project summary, German Foundation for Peace Research (German and English).

    Program (PDF), Introduction (PDF)