Building capacity in the parliaments of Jordan and Morocco : an institutional approach

  • Gus Olwan

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This thesis examines the parliaments of Jordan and Morocco within an institutional approach. Previous studies of the Middle East and North Africa [MENA] parliaments tended to identify some trends, but most were concerned with the governments’ behaviour rather than examining the extent to which these institutions were working and what their capacity was. This thesis takes an institutional approach as the context for assessing the role of these parliaments, considering in particular their committees and administrative systems. The study emphasizes capacity building to complement the institutional approach adopted. Taking an institutional approach and considering capacity building in the two parliaments the dynamics of environmental factors, the constraints on committees, and administrative capabilities are examined. With this approach, it is possible to identify factors that shaped the current work of the two parliaments ranging from the environment, regulations, political system, and the economic and social identities that may influence the way these parliaments operate. This approach also reveals some of the strengths and weaknesses of the parliamentary practices and the administrative supporting services undertaken, including an explanation of how these parliaments are operating under their respective governing systems. This research offers an empirical study of the chosen parliaments by acknowledging the current levels of capacity and trying to contextualise their identities and capabilities. The findings demonstrate that the institutional approach and capacity building in the two parliaments is highly influenced by a variety of arrangements of legislatures along with the environmental factors affecting the two parliaments’ way of work. This research contributes to institutional and capacity building studies, particularly on the development of parliamentary institutions in the MENA region. This approach recommends the need to undertake further case studies involving other parliaments in the MENA region particularly those accommodating the political transformation towards a new era of vibrant new democracies, not only by rearranging institutional structures, practices and support, but also through cognitive, discursive, and social participation in the two countries’ most prominent institutions – their parliaments.
    Date of Award2015
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJohn Halligan (Supervisor) & Mary Walsh (Supervisor)

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