The parliamentary style of politics has been formed over centuries; nobody theorised it in advance. This book presents a thought experiment to spell out key principles of the parliamentary ideal type of politics. Max Weber offers the main intellectual inspiration, Westminster parliament provides the main historical reference and the author’s studies on parliamentary procedure and rhetoric provide the background for the book. Parliamentary acting and thinking offer us the best example of politics as a contingent and controversial activity. Using a parliamentary imagination, the author constructs the ideal type in five main chapters: dissensual modes of proceeding; rhetoric of parliamentary debate; parliamentary formation and control of government; parliamentarians as politicians; and parliamentary time as their common subtext. In the last two chapters, the book outlines the possibilities of extending parliamentary judgment to politics beyond parliaments proper and the chances for parliamentary politics succeeding today.
About the Author
Kari Palonen is Emeritus Professor of Political Science, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. His main research interests include: the concept of politics, Max Weber studies, conceptual history and parliamentary politics. Among his recent publications are A Political Style of Thinking: Essays on Max Weber (2017) and Debates, Rhetoric and Political Action (2017, with Claudia Wiesner and Taru Haapala). He is also editor-in-chief of the journal Redescriptions.
What People are Saying About This
“Kari Palonen is a preeminent scholar of parliamentary debates and disputations, and in this major study brings his considerable analytical and historical skills to unpack a set of highly salient practices at the heart of modern democracies. Palonen ingeniously draws together approaches from three areas: political theory, with an emphasis on dissensus and contestation; rhetorical studies that illuminate the role of debating styles in forming the regulative cultures of parliaments; and conceptual history, with its sensitivity to time as a major constraining factor in parliamentary life. The resulting confluence reinvigorates all three domains.” (Michael Freeden, Emeritus Professor of Politics, Oxford University, UK)