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.