GPG’s fifth Guide to Parliament on the principles of political development is available to download

Designed for practitioners, policy-makers, politicians and parliamentary staff, the Guide to Parliament series provides a selection of simple guides on both the working of parliament and the potential for reform.

In this fifth guide, written by Dr. Jonathan Murphy, we examine some key issues in political development including building a political settlement, the role of political parties and the need for a strong parliament, an open and transparent government and an engaged citizenry drawing on lessons from Tunisia’s democratic transition.

For young democratic systems, the threat of political stalemate and growing citizen frustration over the slowness and inefficiency of democratic institutions makes them vulnerable to reverting to authoritarianism and conflict. It is, therefore, crucial that during democratic transitions, careful thought be given to the design of democratic systems and institutions, to help enable decision-making that is at the same time inclusive and effective.