The Effects of Covid-19 on the Functioning of Parliaments: A Comparison of France, Germany, Ireland and Israel

The project

Government responses to Covid-19 have included some of the most powerful peace-time interventions in economic, social and political life. But how has Covid-19 affected the functioning of parliaments? This project examines how the chambers’ law-making function and role as central arenas for public debate were affected during and after the crisis in four countries.

The project is supported by the Volkswagen Foundation (VolkswagenStiftung) for a 2-years period (April 2021 - June 2023).

Project objectives

The project aims to assess the resilience of legislative institutions and practices under extreme stress, uncertainty, executive dominance and reliance on technical expertise. It relies on an integrated in-depth comparison of four parliaments before, during and after the peak of the Covid-19 crisis, following the same mixed-methods approach: the German Bundestag, the Irish Dáil, the French National Assembly, and the Israeli Knesset.

The project covers several issues, related to the chambers’ internal working and activities (for example the trade-off between their different functions: decisional efficiency versus deliberation and accountability) and to the balance between executive and legislative powers.

It involves data collection data on the legislative process (duration, attendance, amendments, emergency instruments) as well as qualitative and quantitative content analyses of speech data extracted from parliamentary websites.


  • Olivier Rozenberg, Associate Professor, Sciences Po, CEE (Principal Investigator)

  • Yuma Ando, CNRS Statistician, CEE

  • Eileen Böhringer, Research Assistant, Sciences Po, CEE

  • Damien Lecomte, Post-doctoral Researcher, Sciences Po, CEE


The project involves two other Principal Investigators: Dr. Ittai Bar-Siman-Tov , Bar Ilan University (Israel) and Prof. Dr. Thomas Saalfeld , University of Bamberg (Germany) who is also coordinator.


A first analysis based on the project has been presented at meetings: APSA in 2021, ECPR Standing Group on Parliaments in 2022, and at a special conference at Bar-Illan (Tel Aviv) in January 2023.

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