Not a tweet

I have yet to get a Twitter account.  If I had, I would probably have tweeted:

Arrived in the historic city of Bamberg in Northern Bavaria.  It was founded as a Prince-Bishopric and still has its acient cathedral.

I´m the opening speaker at an ECPR Summer School on Parliaments.  First order of business for participants (mostly graduate students) is to configure their laptops so they can log on to the Internet.

I talk for more than an hour on the state of parliaments and the study of legislatures.  

I note that perceptions of the decline of legislatures have been a feature of the literature since the late 19th Century.  If legislatures have really been in decline, why then are there so many of them? 

I also do a session on how to get published in political science.  I´m worried they may find this more interesting than my earlier talk.

I have avoided covering all my train journeys…


About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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14 Responses to Not a tweet

  1. Carl.H says:

    “I have avoided covering all my train journeys…”

    Pictures would have been nice.

    In your studies of Parliaments-Which is the most successful ? Which the most democratic ? Which do you favour ?

    • Lord Norton says:

      Carl.H: You may be assuming I took some pictures! I suspect if you google ICE trains you will see the very comfortable trains on which I travelled.

      On Parliaments, there is no ideal type. It depends very much on the culture of the country as to the type of legislature that is appropriate. Most now exist within democratic regimes, but it depends on how you define democracy as to which is the most democratic.

      If you take accountability at being at the heart of a representative democracy, then the UK has the benefit of what I term core accountability, which I regard as being preferable to fragmented accountability. Our system has a great deal to commend it, contrary to what some people claim, it is not broken.

      • Carl.H says:

        Do you think that core accountability has drawbacks such as we see everytime an election comes in view. That such as the Labour party all of a sudden finding God, so to speak, and preaching PR or AV which previously hadn`t entered their heads.

        The process of this accountability seem`s to make liars of politicians or at least hypocrites and perhaps is one reason why politicians in general are untrusted andlooked down upon.

      • Len says:

        Since I can’t seem to reply to Carl’s reply directly:

        I don’t think that’s limited to ‘core accountability’ systems such as ours. To look across the Atlantic, for example, it seems common for US candidates with their fragmented accountability, every election year, to proclaim how they’re combating Washington waste and how they’re fixing ‘broken’ Washington – again, finding God. Then, for the next two, four or six years (depending for what the candidate is running) you’ll rarely, if ever, see them doing something about it.

  2. The Duke of Waltham says:

    “If legislatures have really been in decline, why then are there so many of them?”

    Perhaps they are less efficient?

    In seriousness, though, it seems to be political culture that is in decline, rather than the legislatures through which it is expressed.

    • Lord Norton says:

      The Duke of Waltham: The perception of decline derives from a very limited view of the role of legislatures. It focuses on their role in observable decision-making (the pluralist view of power), whereas legislatures are multi-functional and functionally adaptable bodies. When their wider roles are factored in, one recognises their importance to their respective polities.

  3. Andrew Barrett says:

    I cannot encourage you enough to get a Twitter account.

    • Lord Norton says:

      Andrew Barrett: I wll get there eventually.

      • The Duke of Waltham says:

        I, on the other hand, will attempt to discourage Your Lordship. I am not sure I can be bothered to follow tweets, even for you.

        In any case, I find much more merit in the blog format, where one may properly explain one’s views, rather than have to condense them into a potentially misleading (near-)catchphrase that will most likely create more questions and provide few, if any, answers.

        Which, by the way, sounds awfully familiar…

    • Lord Norton says:

      The Duke of Waltham: They are not mutually exclusive. I certainly have no intention of giving up this blog.

  4. Liam says:

    This is a good practice run, the tweets are interesting and you haven’t had to condense any words.

    The only problem is they leave the reader interested to know more. Is there video of any of these lectures? I’m assuming not.

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