Religious representation in Parliament: examining the parliamentary behaviour of MPs from Jewish and Muslim backgrounds, 1997-2012

Kolpinskaya, Ekaterina (2015) Religious representation in Parliament: examining the parliamentary behaviour of MPs from Jewish and Muslim backgrounds, 1997-2012. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This research examines the parliamentary representation of Jewish and Muslim minorities. It is assessed drawing upon the behaviour of MPs from Jewish and Muslim backgrounds and their engagement with issues of concern for the respective minority in high- and low-cost parliamentary activities.

The analysis is conducted on the content of 96 votes, 708,429 Parliamentary Questions for written answers (WPQs), and 5,160 Early Day Motions (EDMs). Voting divisions are examined using methods of descriptive statistics and qualitative content analysis, whereas relational, computer-aided, dictionary-based content analysis with time series cross-sectional data analysis is applied to examine the content of EDMs and WPQs.

The analysis demonstrates that coming from a religious minority background has a limited impact on the behaviour of MPs and is largely inferior to the institutional predictors of behaviour, such as legislative role and the party-related predictors. This suggests that MPs from Jewish and Muslim backgrounds do not necessarily act for their minority groups driven by their heritage alone. Instead, MPs’ engagement with minority issues depends on their duties, responsibilities and party affiliations, even when the party discipline is loosened.

The findings of the research have significant policy implications. They show that the presence of minority politicians in a legislature does not necessarily lead to better substantive representation of these minority groups through minority MPs’ engagement with minority issues. That is because minority parliamentarians are bound by the same constraints as the rest of the House, which reduces their ability to deliver expertise on minority issues.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Cowley, P.J.
Milazzo, C.C.
Subjects: J Political science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Politics and International Relations
Item ID: 32705
Depositing User: Hatton, Mrs Kirsty
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2016 11:11
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 01:47

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