Constitutional Reform of National Legislatures
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Constitutional Reform of National Legislatures

Bicameralism under Pressure

Edited by Richard Albert, Antonia Baraggia and Cristina Fasone

Despite the importance of second chambers to the success of constitutional democracies around the world, today many fundamental questions about bicameralism remain understudied and undertheorized. What makes bicameral reform so difficult? Why choose bicameralism over unicameralism? What are the constitutional values of bicameralism? This innovative book addresses these questions and many more from comparative, doctrinal, empirical, historical and theoretical perspectives.
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Chapter 2: Bicameralism. Multiple theoretical roots in diverging practices

Maria Romaniello

Abstract

Despite its ancient roots and its resilience in the contemporary world, bicameralism remains a disputed institutional arrangement. Since its origins, it has been highly debated and yet, there is no one model of bicameralism and so there is no one single universally accepted criterion for justifying it. Based on this premise, the aim of the chapter is to investigate the rationales of bicameralism developed in the literature through time and in different constitutional arrangements. By looking at the experiences of bicameral systems in EU Member States and at those countries where bicameralism was abolished, the chapter argues that bicameralism is rooted in different theoretical justifications, and national institutional arrangements continue to be strongly biased by their own historical, cultural and political factors.

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