COMMONS AND LORDS: A Short Anthropology of Parliament

COMMONS AND LORDS: A Short Anthropology of Parliament

EMMA CREWE    Book Number: 87705    Product format: Paperback

Not just for the sake of democracy, but also because the surprises it contains challenge our understanding of British politics, this excellent little book pulls back the curtain on both the upper House of Lords and the lower House of Commons to examine their unexpected inner workings. Based on field work, the book provides a surprising twist in how relationships each play out. The high social status of peers gives the impression of hierarchy and more specifically, patriarchy. In contrast, the House of Commons conjures impressions of equality and fairness between members. But actual observation reveals the opposite. This short anthropology of Parliament illuminates the dark places of these mysterious institutions by addressing three puzzles. Why is whipping in the Commons getting harder, while Lords are more obedient than they claim? Why do women members relish the Lords but often struggle in the Commons? Why is the Parliamentary process of scrutiny and debating evidence so badly misunderstood? Politicians' work only makes sense if you look at their everyday social relationships and the cultures they create. The messiness of representative politics and the disappointment it brings are both a weakness and a virtue of Parliamentary democracy. 69 page paperback, diagrams.
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ISBN 9781910376072
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