While at the beginning of the 1970s 45 countries in the world had a bicameral system, today this is the case of 80 countries and a number of states currently think about introducing a second chamber. This means that today a majority of people lives in a bicameral system. How comes it that bicameralism is so popular today while in the 70s it seemed to be an outdated model and several Scandinavian countries decided to abolish it?
Historically bicameralism had two main functions: the representation of states in federalist countries (American constitution 1787) und power-sharing with a social class which existence had been called into question by the development of society (see House of Lords). What is the function of second chambers today?
These questions will be debated in the seminar
In addition, different types of second chambers and the consequences of bicameral parliamentary structures will be presented as second chambers differ in several aspects: in their composition, their competences and functions, the way their members are elected, appointed… aa well as their relation with the first chamber.
• Patterson, Samuel C./Anthony Mughan (Hrsg.), 1999: Senates: Bicameralism in the Con-temporary World. Ohio: Ohio State University Press.
• Tsebelis, George/Jeanette Money, 1997: Bi-cameralism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
• Riescher, Gisela/Sabine Ruß/Christoph M. Haas (Hrsg.), 2000: Zweite Kammern. München: R.Oldenbourg.