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SPP 483

Author: Edoardo Bressanelli
Description: This paper elaborates on the work of Bailer and colleagues (2009) and it seeks to apply two sociological theories on the effects of group size - oligarchization and formalization - to political Groups in the European Parliament. On the basis of these theories, the substantial expansion in the membership of the political Groups which resulted from the 'Big Bang' enlargement towards Central and Eastern Europe is expected to bear two consequences for their organizations: their chief organs (Bureau and/or Presidency) will become more powerful and their bureaucratic structure will expand and become more complex.. Empirically, this paper makes a qualitative comparison of the internal organization of the three largest political Groups (the Conservative EPP, the Socialists and the Liberals) before and after enlargement. It is based on original archival research in the political Group secretariats in Brussels and interviews with senior administrators and MEPs. By presenting an in-depth study of the Groups' internal organizations, this paper contributes to the debate on the sources of voting cohesion in the EP.

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Postal Address:    CSPP Publications, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, G1 1XQ, UK

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland