Multilayered International Parliamentarism: The Case of EU-Brazil Relations
27 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2014
Date Written: June 23, 2014
Challenging the predominant scholarly focus on international parliamentary institutions as the sole and sufficient object of inquiry into the global role of parliaments, this article argues that international interparliamentary relations do not occur merely within isolated forums, but may and do de facto evolve in layers of overlapping forums whenever circumstances allow it. This article conceptualises multilayered international parliamentarism as developing in webs of formal and informal linkages between the same parliamentary institutions in a variety of bilateral and multilateral frameworks regarding the same region. To this end, I conduct an in-depth case study of bilateral and multilateral relations between the parliaments of the EU and Brazil through the lens of institutional arrangements as well as by examining the reaction of the Brazilian and certain other Latin American parliaments to the EU’s Returns Directive. The analysis shows that intensified international contacts among parliamentarians accentuate the deliberative function of parliaments and foster their 'diplomatic' actorship in foreign affairs in a concerted attempt to counterbalance globalisation-propelled 'negotiated democracy' nurtured by intergovernmental and transgovernmental ways of doing politics and making law.
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