About Us

About Us

Established: 2005    Number of members: 364

Legislative Studies is an important and growing subfield in political research. Although scholars may argue about their role, significance and importance it is almost impossible to study any political system without reference to its parliament. Within parliamentary systems the legislature serves as the link between citizens and the executive – within presidential systems the legislative branch is seen frequently as a balance against executive power.

For a number of years the study of legislatures has concentrated on the US Congress. Parliaments in Europe have not been a subject of investigation to any comparable extent. Nevertheless, the body of knowledge is ever expanding on both the long-standing parliaments in Europe and the new institutions of the European Union and Central and Eastern Europe.

The group mainly studies questions related to:

  • Assembly institutionalisation – the development of organisational patterns, rules and procedures
  • Assembly capacity – the formal powers and resources of parliaments
  • Assembly operation – the dynamics of the party system and legislative-executive balance

Members of the steering committee

  • Amie Kreppel (University of Florida)
  • Michael Koss (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München – LMU)
  • Maria Thürk (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
  • Flemming Juul Christiansen (University of Roskilde)
  • Tom Louwerse (Leiden University)

Aims and objectives

The Standing Group’s aim is to promote comparative research and theory-building on the institutionalisation, capacity, operation, and performance of legislatures and the dissemination of such research. The Standing Group is both the starting point for those interested in studying legislatures and the meeting point for existing scholars in the field.


Activities designed to facilitate such an exchange of ideas include regular meetings as part of the ECPR and other conferences, a series of online working papers, and a summer school.

How to join the Standing Group

If you would like to join the Standing Group on Parliaments, you will need to create a myECPR account at http://www.ecpr.eu/. This only takes a few minutes, and you need not be from an ECPR member institution to do so. Then, click on the following link, and select ‘Join Standing Group’.


If you are from an ECPR member institution your membership to the SG is accepted automatically. If you are from a non-member institution we will need to accept your application to join, so your membership status will be ‘pending’ until we accept you.

Please note that you need to renew your membership every two years. We will remind members to do so when necessary.

Standing Group on Parliaments’ constitution

The Standing Group adopted a new constitution following the meeting of its members at the ECPR General Conference in Glasgow, September 2014. You can read the constitution here: Constitution Standing Group on Parliaments 2014