- Content matters: the dynamics of parliamentary questioning in Belgium and Denmark
- Comparative Political Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 44 | 8
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Why do MPs devote attention to some issues while ignoring others? The question of the issue content of parliamentary activities has been neglected in previous research. The authors use longitudinal data on parliamentary questioning in Belgium and Denmark, two similar European democracies. The analyses show that the questioning behavior of MPs is structured according to clear patterns. Opposition parties ask more questions in general. MPs tend to focus on the issues the government parties have put forward as being important. Furthermore, MPs ask more questions about issues the media have paid attention to and about issues their party cares about and identifies with. In their questioning, opposition MPs are more strongly influenced by issue ownership and media coverage. The Belgian and Danish MPs follow largely the same pattern.
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