Reevaluating the policy success of private members bills

Amnon Cavari, Maoz Rosenthal, Ilana Shpaizman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Members of parliament routinely submit private bills. Yet, a minority of these bills are enacted. Existing research suggests that, because of the low enaction rates of private members' bills, policymaking motivation is not the primary purpose of members of parliament in submitting these bills. We question this assumption and argue that existing research examines the policy effect of Private Member Bills (PMB) too narrowly. Taking a policy process perspective, we propose, first, that a more accurate assessment of the success rate of private members' bills should look only at the bills entering the legislative process. Second, we propose that the policy effect of private members' bills should not be limited to the end result of enactment, but rather to examine their effect on the agenda-setting stage. We demonstrate these propositions using the case of private members' bills in Israel, a country that has one of the highest rates of PMBs and has institutionalized the process of evaluating them. The study provides a better understanding of private members' bills in parliamentary democracies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch and Politics
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Funding

The data and analyses were done with the help of the Israeli Policy Agendas Project at Reichman University and Bar Ilan University funded by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) grant 1271/18. The paper was presented at the 2020 annual meeting of the Israeli Association of Legislation at Reichman University, and the 2021 annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association. We thank Michael S. Lynch and additional participants in these events as well as the anonymous reviewers and editors of Research & Politics for their helpful comments. The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by Israel Science Foundation (1271/18). The data and analyses were done with the help of the Israeli Policy Agendas Project at Reichman University and Bar Ilan University funded by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) grant 1271/18. The paper was presented at the 2020 annual meeting of the Israeli Association of Legislation at Reichman University, and the 2021 annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association. We thank Michael S. Lynch and additional participants in these events as well as the anonymous reviewers and editors of Research & Politics for their helpful comments. The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by Israel Science Foundation (1271/18).

FundersFunder number
Israeli Association of Legislation at Reichman University
Michael S. Lynch
Reichman University
Southern Political Science Association
Bar-Ilan University
Israel Science Foundation1271/18

    Keywords

    • Israeli Knesset
    • Private member bills
    • executive agenda
    • issue diversity
    • policy attention
    • policy signaling

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