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Hidden in Plain Sight: The Impact of Party Organisation in Legislatures

Lord Norton of Louth, Philip



Legislators operate in different spaces within a legislative estate. The public and scholarly focus is on behaviour in formal space – the chamber and committee rooms, where formal decisions are taken – but the utilization of informal and party (and now virtual) space can and does have consequences for legislative outcomes as well as the future of political leaders. This article addresses behaviour in party space and its consequences. Drawing on anthropological and archival research, it utilizes a case study, identifying the consequences of the Conservative 1922 Committee in the British House of Commons. The body, constituting Conservative private members, has a distinctive history, but its consequences, or functions, inherent or developed over time, provide a framework for comparative analysis and emphasize the importance of exploring how legislators use space beyond that of the formal arena of the chamber and committee rooms.


Lord Norton of Louth, P. (2024). Hidden in Plain Sight: The Impact of Party Organisation in Legislatures. Journal of international and comparative law, 11(1), 103-120

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 1, 2024
Online Publication Date Jun 14, 2024
Publication Date Jun 1, 2024
Deposit Date Jun 7, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jun 2, 2025
Journal The Journal of International and Comparative Law
Print ISSN 2313-3775
Publisher Sweet and Maxwell
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 1
Pages 103-120
Keywords British Parliament; Formal space; Informal space; Legislatures; MPs; 1922 Committee; Parliamentary parties; Party groups; Party space
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