Informations and abstract
Keywords: European Parliament; Territorial Representation; Electoral Systems; Legislative Roles; Parliamentary Questions.
Many studies focus on the way electoral institutions shape the representative process. For more than 30 years, scholars in the twin fields of legislative studies and electoral systems have been exchanging views about the impact of electoral rules on the behaviour, attitudes, preferences and orientations of members of parliament. Focusing on geographical representation, we consider how variation in electoral systems affects territorial representation of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). Until now, roll-call analysis and survey are the classic methods to investigate the role-orientation in the European Parliament (EP). Recently, Martin (2011) has suggested a new strategy of enquiry based on the content analysis of Parliamentary Questions (PQs). This kind of investigation guarantees the opportunity to (partially) resolve many empirical and theoretical problems related to the other methods of research. This paper explores the focus of representation in the EP and it is based on a new dataset composed by all the written PQs asked by Italian, German, French, Latvian and Danish MEPs during the sixth EP term (2004-2009).