How Much Legislating in a Legislature?
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How Much Legislating in a Legislature?

The academic journal „The Theory and Practice of Legislation“ has published a new special issue titled „How much legislating in a legislature? Democratisation, de-democratisation and beyond“. It compiles various case studies on recent development of democracy, among them Poland, Indonesia, India and Bolivia. They shine a light on how parliaments suffer from processes of de-democratization,…

Practioners’ Workshop on Legislative Cartography
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Practioners’ Workshop on Legislative Cartography

Having conducted a thorough literature review, analyzed legal documents and interviewed numerous parliamentary practitioners, the interdisciplinary team held a first workshop on the „Cartography of the Legislative Process“. Held in Berlin, the workshop brought together practitioners from the German Bundestag and the Ministry of Justice with academics and designers. The goal of the project is…

Legislative Cartography in the Research Seminar
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Legislative Cartography in the Research Seminar

An ongoing cooperation of political scientists and designers is mapping the legislative process, from first ideas to the promulgation of laws. The special focus is on integrating both formal and informal components. Sven T. Siefken presented and discussed findings of this ongoing research project at the brown bag seminar of the University of Applied Administrative…

Parliaments and the Resilience of Democracies
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Parliaments and the Resilience of Democracies

The Federal Ministry of the Interior is organizing a training course on the resilience of democracy. It brings academics into exchange and discussion with staff of the German Federal administration. Sven T. Siefken discussed the topic of parliaments in crises. Building on definitions of crises and the role of parliaments in the political systems, Siefken…

Reviewing Covid in Kiel
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Reviewing Covid in Kiel

The State Parliament and the State Government of Schleswig-Holstein brought together 400 citizens and experts to review the experience of the Covid crisis. A symposium, held a the State Parliament in Kiel, investigated the various societal sectors that were affected. Sven T. Siefken served as moderator of the discussion on „State and Law“. A recording…

The Bundestag – Insider Perspectives for Colorado students
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The Bundestag – Insider Perspectives for Colorado students

A group of students from Colorado College visited the Bundestag to discuss German politics with an MP and staffers working for MPs from different parties. Sven T. Siefken, guest professor at CC since 2019, organized the event, moderated the meetings and held an introductory lecture on parliamentary politics in Germany. More about Colorado College here…

Parliaments in the Pandemic Workshop in Prague
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Parliaments in the Pandemic Workshop in Prague

The international collaboration on Parliaments in the Pandemic (PiP) convened for its fifth academic workshop in Prague. It was the first in-person meeting since PiP was established in 2020 in the middle of the Covid pandemic. Based on a unique country expert panel study, PiP is a comprehensive study of what happened to parliaments around…

Cartography of the Legislative Process
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Cartography of the Legislative Process

Graphic descriptions of the legislative process usually focus on what is going on “in” parliament – while neglecting the preparliamentary phases of bill preparation. But there is a lot of coordination, negotiation and public engagement happening in this less formalized phase. Bringing together the special skills of designers (with an interest in politics) and political…

In the Depths of Coalition Negotiations
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In the Depths of Coalition Negotiations

Coalition negotiations play a key role in government formation, but they have not been analyzed much in detail. In Germany, the past decades have seen an ongoing differentiation of their organization, leading to a complex multi-level negotiation structure with a policy-oriented division of labor. Studying the working group on health policy in the coalition negotiations…

Playing Parliament
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Playing Parliament

Simulation games are an innovative way for teaching the logic and dynamics of the political process. Sven T. Siefken and a group of students from different universities participated in the parliamentary simulation that is run by the German Bundestag, going through the parliamentary phases of how a bill becomes a law. More on the simulation…

Challenges to Parliamentary Governance
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Challenges to Parliamentary Governance

McGill University in Montreal, Canada, has run an exciting program for new MPs and staff from around the globe. Sven T. Siefken spoke on current political challenges to the German Bundestag, discussing the tension between MPs’ policy specialization versus societal outreach? The presentation gave an overview about how the Bundestag, one of the strongest parliaments…

Erosion of the State?
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Erosion of the State?

Are democratic institutions and bureaucracy losing their functionality? This were key topics of a conference held at the Akademie für politische Bildung in Tutzing. Sven T. Siefken gave a talk on informality in politics, analyzing coalition negotiations, expert advisory commissions and coalition management. More about the conference can be found here https://www.apb-tutzing.de/Tagungsprogramme/2023/39-4-23-programm.pdf

A Global Perspective on Committee Hearings
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A Global Perspective on Committee Hearings

Based on data compiled for the Global Parliamentary Report, Maya Kornberg and Sven T. Siefken study the role of committee hearings for public engagement by parliaments. They discuss how hearings have evolved and which mechanisms are in use and how new approaches change the practices, for example through digital hearings or field hearings. The article…

Meeting Bundestag interns from Arabic countries
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Meeting Bundestag interns from Arabic countries

The Bundestag has been been running the international scholarship program for young professionals from various parts of the world. Sven T. Siefken delivered an opening presentation on „politics in a parliamentary democracy“ and led the discussion for the 2023 class of participants from various Arabic countries: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Tunisia, Bahrain, Algeria, Iraqi. More…

Public Engagement as a Core Role for Parliaments
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Public Engagement as a Core Role for Parliaments

Parliaments fullfill a key function in political system of linking society and the political system. The new article by Cristina Leston-Bandeira and Sven T. Siefken explores changes and continuity in how parliaments fulfill engagement, which actors are doing it and what it entails. The article is available open access: Cristina Leston-Bandeira/ Sven T. Siefken (2023):…

IPSA in Buenos Aires
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IPSA in Buenos Aires

The Research Committee of Legislative Specialists is meeting during the 2023 World Congress in Buenos Aires. Organizing various panels it brings together perspectives on Parliamentary Oversight, Second Chambers, Parliamentary Party Groups, Parliaments in the Pandemic, Parliamentary Development. Sven T. Siefken is serving as convenor, panel chair, discussant and paper presenter. More on the panels by…

Parliamentary Committees in Paperback
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Parliamentary Committees in Paperback

The edited volume on Parliamentary Committees in the Policy Process, edited by Sven T. Siefken and Hilmar Rommetvedt, is now available in paperback. It brings together parliamentary experts from around the world to report on the state of knowledge about what is going on in committees and how relevant they really are. More here https://www.routledge.com/Parliamentary-Committees-in-the-Policy-Process/Siefken-Rommetvedt/p/book/9780367617950

Fourth Academic Workshop on Parliaments in the Pandemic
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Fourth Academic Workshop on Parliaments in the Pandemic

The international collaboration on Parliaments in the Pandemic (PiP) started to gather information on how the Covid-19 pandemic influenced parliaments around the globe. On March 13, it is holding its fourth Academic Workshop, continuing to analyze the data – this time with a special focus on oversight, legislation and parliamentary performance. Sven T. Siefken is…

Current Threats to Parliamentary Democracy
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Current Threats to Parliamentary Democracy

The Institute for Parliamentary Research (IParl), Berlin, and Sven T. Siefken brought together a large group of scholars for a workshop discussing current threats to parliamentary democracy. The meeting was held at the Reichstag building in an open format to debate the various developments in democracies around Europe and grapple with the question how to…

Mini Publics in MP Districts

Mini Publics in MP Districts

The initiative “Hallo Bundestag” is running mini publics in MP districts – an innovative approach to combine elements of deliberative and representative democracy. Sven T. Siefken is supporting and advising the initiative that is financed by the Robert Bosch foundation, the ZEIT foundation, the Open Society Foundations and the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung. More about…

Electoral Reform in Germany

Electoral Reform in Germany

On March 17, the German Bundestag passed the electoral reform bill after heated debate. It will limit the size of parliament at 630 members and uphold the principles of personalized proportional representation. March 16 and 17, Sven T. Siefken participated in a workshop of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, discussing the electoral reform and its consequences.

At the IParl Academy
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At the IParl Academy

In March 2023, the Institute for Parliamentary Research held the first IParl Academy for graduate students. As part of the program, Sven T. Siefken discussed with participants what roles parliaments had in crises and how crises are dealt with in parliaments. You can find more about the IParl Academy here https://www.iparl.de/de/forschung/iparl-akademie.html

Georgetown Class on Activism, Campaigning, Governing in Europe

Georgetown Class on Activism, Campaigning, Governing in Europe

For the Master’s Program of American Government at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, Sven T. Siefken is co-teaching a Comparative Politics class. Students learn about the entire process: From becoming active in politics, to party work, candidate nomination, election and governing. Going broad comparatively and going deep in the formalities and informalities of the German…

Reforming German Electoral Law – and What it Means for Representation

Reforming German Electoral Law – and What it Means for Representation

The first reading of the reform bill for the electoral law of Germany has been debated in the Bundestag today. Sven T. Siefken discussed with “Die WELT” daily newspaper, if this new law may lead to deserted districts in the future. The complete article is here. In a separate interview, Siefken spoke about topic with…

Conference at St Pete Beach, Florida
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Conference at St Pete Beach, Florida

The Research Committees 08 (Legislative Specialists) and 13 (Democratization in Comparative Perspective) of the International Political Science Association jointly set up a conference within the Southern Political Science Association‘s Annual Conference, held January 11 to 14, 2023 at St Pete Beach in Florida. Conference organizers Irina Khmelko (University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, USA), Adam Szymański (University…

Holding the public sector accountable

Holding the public sector accountable

Providing redress for maladministration is a key requirement of any legitimate system of public service delivery. During the 6th. International Conference on Public Policy, held in Toronto, Canada, 27-29 June 2023, Eckart Schroeter and Sven T. Siefken organize a panel that explores different ways of holding public authorities and agents of public service delivery accountable….

Conference on Building Democratic Resilience

Conference on Building Democratic Resilience

The European Parliament has been active in supporting and strengthening parliaments around the globe. Looking back at 10 years of activities, the EP Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group organized a high-level-conference in Brussels to discuss experiences and the way forward, November 29 to 30, 2022. Sven T. Siefken participated as an academic commentator. More…

At the Assemblée nationale in Paris

At the Assemblée nationale in Paris

Visiting the Assemblée nationale on the occasion of the price awarded to colleague Claire Bloquet for their dissertation “On the outskirts of the French Parliament: The Delegation for Women’s Rights”. A grand ceremony, talks with policy makers and parliamentary administrators and the opportunity to watch question time in parliament. More about the prize here.

“Parliaments, Crises and Foresight” in Dublin

“Parliaments, Crises and Foresight” in Dublin

Sven T. Siefken presented the international research collaboration “Parliaments in the Pandemic” during the workshop “Parliaments, Crisis and Foresight” of the Inter Pares Steering Committee. It was held in Dublin, Ireland. Inter Pares is a project of the European Commission that is implemented by International IDEA. It brings together parliaments from the EU members states and…

Optimizing MP Office Work

Optimizing MP Office Work

Work in the office of a member of parliament is very dynamic and has particular challenges. Teams are small, hierachies flat, changes frequent – and the work is very fast-paced. At the same time, there are important connections to the district office. In a workshop with the entire team of an MP from both offices…

Field Trip to the Bundestag

Field Trip to the Bundestag

The study abroad program at Colorado College has a long tradition; students spend a few months in Germany, learn the language and take regular classes, too. In 2022, Sven T. Siefken organized a field trip to the Bundestag for the current group of students in Berlin. After an introductory lecture and discussion, the group met…

New Challenges to German Politics and Policy

New Challenges to German Politics and Policy

In the German Studies Association conference in Houston, Texas, Barbara Donovan, Eric Langenbacher and Sven T. Siefken convened a three-day seminar on the “New Challenges to German Politics and Policy”. Scholars from the United States, Canada and Germany presented their research and discussed the findings. Sven T. Siefken presented a paper on Changes or Constitency…