This chapter summarizes the key findings of the book, and puts them into the larger perspective of both party politics and representative government. It argues that we need to adjust our understanding of how the ‘party in the legislature’ in Europe functions, and understand it as a horizontal rather than hierarchical organization, where disciplinary tools are commitment mechanisms between rank-and-file legislators rather than a top-down tool for leaders to impose their policy preferences on their legislative parties. The chapter also suggests avenues for future research, pointing in particular to the need for regular, comparative, parliamentary surveys across countries to be conducted.
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