Seminar with Niels Goet (Data Scientist at Inspera, and Phd in Political Science from the University of Oxford)
Title of the presentation: Procedural Change in the UK House of Commons, 1811-1945: A New Dataset (co-authored with Thomas G. Fleming, & Radoslaw Zubek)
Recent research has shown an increasing interest in the evolution of legislative institutions in parliamentary democracies. Progress in this area is, however, hindered by a scarcity of high-quality historical data on procedural change inside legislative assemblies, especially in the pre-1945 period. In this paper, we introduce a new and complete dataset of all reforms of the Standing Orders of the UK House of Commons between 1811 and 1945. We apply several computational text analysis tools to map the evolution of the House of Commons’ procedures, and to identify trends and patterns in the House’s institutional development. We provide an exploratory test of a number of established partisan and non- partisan theories of procedural change to shed light on the drivers of the House’s institutional evolution.