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Consensual or dominant relationships with parliament? A comparison of administrations and ministers in Scotland

Shephard, Mark and Cairney, P. (2004) Consensual or dominant relationships with parliament? A comparison of administrations and ministers in Scotland. Public Administration, 82 (4). pp. 831-856. ISSN 0033-3298

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Abstract

The study of administrations and ministers and their relationships with UK Parliaments has tended to focus on the issues of accountability and responsibility, levels of legislative dissent or broad performance indicators supported by anecdotal examples. This paper addresses the lack of systematic analysis of executive/legislative relations in the policy-making process by examining the dominance of different administrations and ministers in the Scottish Parliament. Two questions are addressed. First, is there any variance in the legislative dominance of different administrations in the parliamentary arena? Second, do individual ministers make a difference to the degree of policy dominance? Controlling for both initial authorship and quality of amendments to Executive policy, we analyse the nature and extent of Executive dominance during the legislative process of the First Session of the Scottish Parliament. We find some evidence to suggest that Executive dominance varies both by administration and by individual minister.