Preprint Open Access

Who runs Parliamentary Committees? Insights from the Austrian Case

Korom, Philipp

In the European context, committees are the “work horses” of legislatures. Nevertheless, today we have little solid knowledge of the committee allocation system. To fill this gap, this study on the Austrian Nationalrat (1945-2019) sets out to test the distributional, informational, and partisan theories of committee formation based on a unique panel dataset including 44,533 committee and Members of Parliament (MP) observations. The major insight gained from analyses of 12 different committees is that “who gets what” is determined, first and foremost, by MPs’ expertise. Social partnership ties as well as the role of regional and Land constituency representatives also matter. National leadership positions, parliament, and even committee seniority turn out to be of secondary importance while gender has an impact on the intra-party calculus in allocating seats to MPs.

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