Agenda Control by Committee Chairs in Fragmented Multi-party Parliaments

A Knesset Case Study

in Israel Studies Review
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  • 1 Interdisciplinary Center mrosenthal@idc.ac.il
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abstract

Parliaments channel legislation efforts and oversight functions to parliamentary committees in order for them to transform policy ideas into agreed-upon policies and then monitor their implementation. Committees play a major role in the policymaking process when they possess agenda-setting powers over the bills they process and through their employment of oversight capacities. The rules that construct checks and balances between the government and Israel’s Knesset potentially minimize the Knesset committees’ agenda-setting influence. Nevertheless, Knesset committee chairs strategically use their institutional powers to affect committee deliberations through bargaining and dynamic agenda setting. Consequently, Knesset committees play a major role in the policy process due to bargaining rather than through institutional rules.

Contributor Notes

maoz rosenthal is a Senior Lecturer in the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy, and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya. His studies examine the interaction between strategy and structure in a variety of political arenas: public bureaucracies, electoral systems, government coalitions, and political parties. Currently, his research is on governability in multi-party parliamentary systems, with a special focus on the Israeli case. Recent publications include Israel’s Governability Crisis: Quandaries, Unstructured Institutions and Adaptation (2017). E-mail: mrosenthal@idc.ac.il

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