By bringing together three different academic disciplines – anthropology, political science and history – and covering a variety of different parliamentary assemblies, both in Europe and in the United States, this book aims to offer a fresh approach to parliamentary studies. The authors assess the importance of ritual and symbolic communication in different parliamentary settings. The underlying question that each practitioner and scholar addresses is: Do parliamentary rituals really matter? Some of the contributors argue that legislative procedure is more telling of the role and reputation that a parliament has in a given society than its rituals and ceremonies. Others stress the relevance of these ritual expressions for conveying political sense and meaning to the public.
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2006. 209 pp.
Contents: Emma Crewe/Marion G. Müller: Introduction – Marc Abélès: Parliament, politics and ritual – László Kürti:
Symbolism and drama within the ritualisation of the Hungarian parliament – Bernard Moreau: The political meanings of military
rituals in the French National Assembly – Emma Crewe: Rituals and the Usual Channels in the British House of Lords – Richard
Baker: Ritual and ceremony in the United States Senate – Alastair J. Mann: The Scottish Parliaments: the role of ritual and
procession in the pre-1707 parliament and the new parliament of 1999 – Werner Patzelt: Parliaments and their Symbols. Topography
of a field of research – Marion G. Müller: Parliaments and their Liturgies.