cover of book

Commons and Lords: A Short Anthropology of Parliament
by Emma Crewe
Haus Publishing, 2015
Paper: 978-1-910376-07-2 | eISBN: 978-1-910376-27-0
Library of Congress Classification JN621.C64 2015
Dewey Decimal Classification 328.41

The British Parliament rewards close scrutiny not just for the sake of democracy, but also because the surprises it contains challenge our understanding of British politics. Commons and Lords pulls back the curtain on both the upper House of Lords and the lower House of Commons to examine their unexpected inner workings.

Based on fieldwork within both Houses, this volume in the Haus Curiosities series provides a surprising twist in how relationships in each play out. The high social status of peers in the House of Lords gives the impression of hierarchy and, more specifically, patriarchy. In contrast, the House of Commons conjures impressions of equality and fairness between members. But actual observation reveals the opposite: while the House of Lords has an egalitarian and cooperative ethos that is also supportive of female members, the competitive and aggressive House of Commons is a far less comfortable place for women. Offering many surprises and secrets, this book exposes the sheer oddity of the British parliament system.

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