Parliament Buildings: The Architecture of Politics in Europe

Book edited by Sophia Psarra, Uta Staiger, and Claudia Sternberg: “As political polarisation undermines confidence in the shared values and established constitutional orders of many nations, it is imperative that we explore how parliaments are to stay relevant and accessible to the citizens whom they serve. The rise of modern democracies is thought to have found physical expression in the staged unity of the parliamentary seating plan. However, the built forms alone cannot give sufficient testimony to the exercise of power in political life.

Parliament Buildings brings together architecture, history, art history, history of political thought, sociology, behavioural psychology, anthropology and political science to raise a host of challenging questions. How do parliament buildings give physical form to norms and practices, to behaviours, rituals, identities and imaginaries? How are their spatial forms influenced by the political cultures they accommodate? What kinds of histories, politics and morphologies do the diverse European parliaments share, and how do their political trajectories intersect?

This volume offers an eclectic exploration of the complex nexus between architecture and politics in Europe. Including contributions from architects who have designed or remodelled four parliament buildings in Europe, it provides the first comparative, multi-disciplinary study of parliament buildings across Europe and across history…(More)”