Parliaments and Parliamentarianism in Europe

Parliamentarianism and parliamentarisation are the results of transnational and interdependent political transfer processes. The KGParl research focus »Parliaments and Parliamentarianism in Europe« takes this into account. It aims at expanding previous research studies of the KGParl on German parliamentarianism by including a European comparative perspective. Related to this is a topical focus on the development of parliamentary culture(s) in Europe. Comparative systematic studies are intended to analyse symbols, rituals and forms of communication of European parliaments and thus explore the potential of symbolic communication. In doing so, the research focus explicitly draws on anthropological and cultural historical questions.

A European subject with comparative perspective will only be meaningful when carried out in cooperation with European research institutes. This can be best achieved by means of international academic conferences. Thus, the KGParl has initiated the conference series »Parlamentarische Kulturen in Europa im historischen Vergleich« (»Parliamentary Cultures in Europe from a Comparative Historical Perspective«). It focuses on topics that, through the lens of comparison, are suitable for the discussion of basic issues: »Das Parlament als Kommunikationsraum« (»Parliament as Communication Space«), »Lebenswelten von Abgeordneten in Europa« (»Lifeworlds of Parliamentarians in Europe«), »Das ideale Parlament« (»Ideal Parliament«) as well as »Antiparlamentarismus und Parlamentarismuskritik« (»Anti-Parliamentarianism and Criticism of Parliamentarianism«).

Die transnationale Zusammenarbeit sozialistischer Parteien in der Zwischenkriegszeit / Transnational Cooperation of Socialist Parties in the Interwar Period

An Analysis of Foreign Political Processes of Cooperation and Networking: SPD, SFIO and the Labour Party

The book explores the history of cooperation between the three most influential socialist parties in Europe during the interwar period: SPD, SFIO and Labour Party. The author disproves the overall negative assessment of historical research on the impact of the »Socialist Workers’ International«. He shows that socialist politicians such as Rudolf Breitscheid, Ramsay MacDonald and Léon Blum successfully contributed to the »modernisation of foreign policy« in the 1920s.

Beiträge zur Geschichte des Parlamentarismus und der politischen Parteien, Band 176 (Parlamente in Europa, Band 6)/ Contributions to the History of Parliamentarianism and Political Parties, vol. 176 (Parliaments in Europe, vol. 6)
Year of publication
Brochure with gatefolds
49,80 €
Book orders via Droste Verlag

The research project builds on the assumption that similarities inherent to parliamentarianism can be identified even beyond constitutional and political historical dimensions, and that those similarities can ultimately explain political and cultural processes. The assumption of a common parliamentary tradition, on the other hand, faces challenges and questions. In other words, the project must take into account differences as well as their causes and repercussions. Particularly noteworthy in this respect is the frequently suggested exemplary function of the English Parliament as the »mother of parliaments« as well as French parliamentarianism as the cradle of the separation of powers.

In this context, the KGParl is particularly committed not only to focus on the better researched Western European parliaments but also to include those of the nation states in Eastern Central Europe and explore their history as multiethnic nations of the nineteenth century. After all, Hungary – to name but one example – can also look back on a century-old parliamentary tradition – albeit going a different way than the UK in the modern era.

In future, the project will also include the comparative history of parties, the history of elections and election campaigns as well as the European parliament with its specific structure and communication situation.


Current Projects

Tobias Kaiser »Praxisfragen und Grundsatzdikussionen im Europäischen Parlament. Eine Kommunikationsgeschichte der CD/EVP-Fraktion von der Gründung 1952/1953 bis zur Professionalisierung mit und nach der Direktwahl 1979« (»Debates on Practical Issues and Principles in the European Parliament. A Communication History of the CD/EVP Parliamentary Group from its Foundation in 1952/53 to its Professionalisation with and after the Direct Election in 1979«)

Andreas Schulz: »Theater der Illusionen. Parlamentarismuskritik in Deutschland und Frankreich« (»Theatre of Illusions. Critique of Parliamentarianism in Germany and France)


Completed Projects

Tobias Kaiser: »Gewalt und Parlament in Europa – Schutz eines ›heiligen Ortes‹. Eine international vergleichende Studie zur ›Parlamentarischen Polizeigewalt‹« (»Violence and Parliament in Europe – Protecting a ›Holy Place‹. An International Comparative Study on Parliamentary Police Force«), completed, to be published in 2020.


Contact: Tobias Kaiser