Participation in the European Parliament: Populist Parties and Rapporteurships

2017-11-28T12:14:02Z (GMT) by Laura Catherine Ormston MacKenzie
This piece of research develops and tests a model of rapporteurship allocation in the European Parliament, analysing the nature of populist and radical right parties’ engagement in the rapporteurship system, during the fourth and fifth parliamentary terms. The model of rapporteurship allocation builds upon previous research by Yoshinaka et al (2010), and develops the analysis with specific reference to populist and radical right parties. Having discussed the types of populist and radical right parties represented in the European Parliament, this piece of research presents a theoretical framework for studying such parties in a variety of legislatures. Populist and radical right parties are less likely than parties of other traditions to act as rapporteurs in the European Parliament. This is, in part, due to their anti-establishment position, which sees them advocating for a disenfranchised people unrepresented by the political elite. This anti-establishment position results in many populist parties, particularly those from the right wing, failing to fully engage in the European Parliament’s processes. This piece of research uses a number of quantitative techniques to analyse the effect certain variables have on the propensity of populist and radical right members to act as rapporteurs. Even when controlling for a variety of variables, I find that populism significantly, negatively, impacts upon the likelihood of a member to act as a rapporteur. This situation is amplified for Eurosceptic members. The qualitative element of this piece of research seeks to establish whether there is any link between populist and radical right party policy aims and the content of reports their rapporteurs write. Using a coding system derived from the Euromanifesto Project, I conduct a content analysis of reports. Overall, there is little correlation between Euromanifestos and reports, but there does seem to be some parity between general salient party goals and report content.

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