Parliamentarians and Party Groups: The Role of Intra-Party Unity

Reuven Y. Hazan, Reut Itzkovitch-Malka

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Parliamentary democracies show little variance in party unity because the vast majority of parliamentarians vote in near perfect unity with their party on recorded votes. Legislative scholars are thus presented with a paradox: In those systems where party unity is most needed, it is the hardest to study. The focus of this chapter is on the elected representatives of the party, the party’s Members of Parliament (the parliamentary party group). This chapter addresses the importance of party unity in parliamentary democracies, as well as the conceptual confusion surrounding party unity. It presents a new model for assessing party unity that begins to solve the puzzle of how to explore party unity when near perfect unity is recorded in parliamentary voting, and delineates the recent developments in research on party unity. It concludes by proposing an agenda for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Political Representation in Liberal Democracies
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780198825081
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press.


  • Parliamentary party group
  • Party agreement
  • Party cohesions
  • Party discipline
  • Party loyalty
  • Party unity


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