legislative studies

Do different parties respond to different problems? A comparative study of parliamentary questions across multiple countries

The identification of problem information is an important driver of political attention in parliament. This is widely acknowledged in the literature on party competition but there has been surprisingly little empirical research on the extent and when …

"Parliaments in the pandemic" Workshop n.2

On July 20th 2022, I participated in the second workshop of the research network “Parliaments in the pandemic” (PiP). PiP is an international collaboration gathering experts on parliaments organised under the aegis of the Research Committee of Legislative Specialists (RCLS) of the International Political Science Association (IPSA).

The Project "Legitech" is awarded a grant by the University of Florence

The project was funded by the University of Florence through the competitive announcement “Finanziamento di progetti competitivi per Ricercatori a Tempo Determinato (RTD) dell’Università di Firenze 2021-23” and is co-led with my Unifi colleague Renato Ibrido.

Fighting COVID-19 on Democratic Terms. Parliamentary Functioning in Italy and Denmark during the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic challenged parliamentary decision-making, which is normally based on time-consuming deliberation and scrutiny. We ask how national parliaments met this challenge during the first wave in the spring 2020, and we argue that institutional powers of the executive designed to handle crises just like a pandemic, paradoxically, increase challenges to democratic decision-making because the parliament misses opportunities to negotiate institutional adjustments accommodating pressure of government takeover. We evaluate this argument based on a comparative study of parliamentary activity in Italy and Denmark during the first wave of COVID-19 and find that both parliaments came under pressure with regard to law-making and control, but only the Danish parliament was able to install effective mechanisms to regain lost powers. It is too early to conclude on parliamentary consequences of COVID-19, but our study suggests that parliamentary reforms in response to the COVID-19 democratic challenges will mainly manifest in political systems without strong institutions to handle states of emergency.