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.
Emma Crewe is a Visiting Reader in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the School of Oriental and African Studies. She has worked as an anthropologist researcher, lecturer and practitioner in international development in South Asia, East Africa and the UK. In her research she explores inequalities, governance and institutions.
Marion G. Muller is a Professor of Mass Communication at International University Bremen (IUB) in Germany. A political scientist by training she has worked and published extensively on symbolic, ritual and visual communication.
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