Parliamentary Questions as Instruments of Substantive Representation: Visible Minorities in the UK House of Commons, 2005-10
- Does the growing descriptive representation of minority-ethnic legislators in the British House of Commons have any implications for the substantive representation of minority-related issues in the UK Parliament? This study is based on a data set of over 16,000 parliamentary questions tabled by 50 British backbench Members of Parliament (MPs) in the 2005-2010 Parliament, including the 16 immigrant-origin MPs with a ‘visible-minority’ background. Based on a series of multivariate models, it is found that all British MPs sampled for this study – irrespective of their ethnic status – respond to electoral incentives arising from the socio-demographic composition of their constituencies: Minority and non-minority MPs alike ask more questions relating to minority concerns, if they represent constituencies with a high share of non-White residents. Controlling for that general effect, however, MPs with a visible-minority status do tend to ask significantly more questions about ethnic diversity and equality issues.
Vertical and Horizontal Accountability of Global Elites : Some Theoretical Reflections and a Preliminary Research Agenda
has given rise to an ever-increasing number of global elites holding
leadership positions in transnational institutions, corporations and NGOs. This
raises questions regarding the structure and accountability of these elites. Are they just an abstract category of position-holders representing national or organizational
interests in transnational decision-making or do they rather form a cohesive ruling group united by common interests, as some theoreticians of
globalization have assumed? Elite theory has identified a number of relevant
characteristics that can be used for assessing the nature of this nascent elite
formation. These include primarily the prevailing patterns of elite recruitment
with respect to the representation of societal diversity, the mechanisms of elite
accountability and the existence of informal rules of conduct that enable the
accommodation of conflicts of interest.