This comprehensive book analyses the development of the legislatures in the Iberian countries over the past 40 years, since democracy was introduced, to comparatively understand their role in these political systems and in sustaining their democratic systems.

Sharing many historical developments and institutional characteristics, Spain and Portugal also present crucial differences, notably Spain’s pure parliamentary system, a King as Head of State and a quasi-federal structure, and Portugal’s semi-presidential democracy. Starting with a historical and institutional contextualization of these two legislatures, the book examines the most important organizational and behavioural features of legislative life in Iberian legislatures in a comparative perspective. It also shows how new legislatures develop resilience capacity to support lasting democratic systems as fully fledged institutionalized bodies.

This book will be of key interest to scholars and students of Spain and Portugal, legislative politics and parliamentarianism, and more broadly to European politics and comparative politics, journalists and practitioners.

chapter 1|4 pages


part Section I|42 pages

Historical background

part Section II|42 pages

Internal organisation structures

part Section III|76 pages

Representation and actors

chapter 6|22 pages

Social distance and ideological congruence between MPs and citizens

Iberian Legislatures before and after the Great Recession

chapter 7|19 pages

The diversity gap in the Portuguese and Spanish parliaments

Descriptive representation through an intersectional perspective

part Section IV|38 pages

Legislative processes