A set of departmental select committees was agreed by the UK House of Commons in 1979 and has become a core feature of British parliamentary life. This introductory survey examines the genesis of the committees and the extent to which they constituted an evolutionary or radical change to the way that the House of Commons conducted itself. Proposals for such committees were not new, but achieving their realisation was possible only when a reform agenda was complemented by ministerial leadership and, fundamentally, by political will favouring change on the part of MPs. The development of the committees, their membership and work and engagement with those outside Parliament, forms the basis of this issue.
Norton, P. (2019). Departmental Select Committees: The Reform of the Century?. Parliamentary affairs, 72(4), 727-741. https://doi.org/10.1093/pa/gsz043