"Perhaps the UK is original in questioning the Prime Minister every week at PMQs, but is this the most effective procedure for holding the prime minister to account? What kinds of procedures are in place in other parliaments, and do they perform better or worse? These are crucial questions about politics that can only be answered comparatively."
- Dr Ruxandra Serban discusses why comparitive research is important as part of our 30th Anniversary celebrations. Read the full close-up with Methodology faculty.
Ruxandra is an LSE Fellow in Qualitative Methodology. Before joining LSE, she conducted her doctoral research in the Department of Political Science at University College London.
Ruxandra's research agenda has focused primarily on the relationship between prime ministers and parliaments in parliamentary democracies. Her thesis mapped the mechanisms through which MPs may question prime ministers in 31 countries. Focusing on Canada, Australia, Ireland and the UK as case studies, it also examined the functions performed by questioning mechanisms such as Prime Minister’s Questions: whether they facilitate accountability, or whether such mechanisms also contribute to other functions that parliaments perform in different political systems, such as conflict, support for the governing party, and territorial representation.
She also worked as a Research Assistant at UCL’s Constitution Unit, one of the UK’s leading research centres on British politics. Her work with the Unit mainly focused on the UK parliament, particularly voting behaviour in the House of Lords.
Ruxandra is currently working on a project exploring recent changes in questioning practices in the Canadian House of Commons. She is also working on a project comparing party discipline mechanisms in parliamentary democracies, focusing on how political parties control how MPs ask parliamentary questions.
Ruxandra’s research interests are primarily in the field of comparative politics and comparative legislative studies: parliaments, legislatures, and the operation of parliamentary rules of procedure across countries. She is also interested in British politics, particularly UK parliamentary politics. More broadly, she is interested in qualitative methodology and methods: the role of concepts in political science, comparative and case study research design, and qualitative text analysis.