80 years of Parliamentary Scholarship and the ICHRPI Parliaments, Estates & Representation

Parliaments, Estates & Representation

To celebrate its 80th birthday the International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions (Commission Internationale pour l’Histoire des Assemblées d’ États) is publishing a selection of articles from its successful journal Parliaments, Estates & Representation (Parliaments, Éstats & Représentation). At the start of this compilation is an introductory essay by the current president of the commission, Joseba Agirreazkuenaga (University of the Basque Country), in which he narrates not only the history of the commission but its importance to the evolving debate on representative assemblies and their interpretation. The Journal itself, launched in 1981, is now over 35 years old and is established as the foremost journal for historians, political scientists and constitutional lawyers who explore the nature of parliamentary institutions of the past and the present. To mark this anniversary year, in 2017 volume 37 of the Journal has seen the introduction of a new external and internal design aimed at marrying the qualities necessary for effective and striking online and hard copy publication. In addition, from 2017 the journal will be published at the rate of 3 issues each year, testament to the fertility of this field of research. Special editions will be a feature of this increased output, including issue 2 in 2017 which consists of a fascinating collection of articles on South American institutions, a geographical area the ICHRPI is keen embrace in its membership and scholarly network.

Selected articles for the Special issue.

The editor of PER, John Young, has prepared this selection to acquaint today’s readers with the main questions published over the years. The first five articles represent the classical questions about the origin and significance of the representative assemblies and parliamentary institutions from the Middle Ages to the period of the Ancien Regime in different countries. The article by H.G. Koenisberger is probably the most influential article on the subject and the article by J. R. Pole is of particular interest for political scientists. In the second set of articles, the liberal parliament of the nineteenth century is the central focus. There are analyses of the coup d’état and the anti-parliamentary tendency, and the crucial actors in parliamentary life of several European countries. In Latin America, however, the parliamentary tradition was always strong in the nineteenth century. The introduction of research from the countries of Latin America in the near future, and in a special edition of the Journal published in 2017, will play a substantial role in increasing the debates amongst the members of the Commission and in improving the formation of research groups to make comparative analyses, combining the global and the local view.  

The ICHRPI: Toward a Community of Historians and Political Scientists (1936-2017)