The Dynamics of Constitutional Conventions in Westminster Democracies Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractConstitutional conventions are fundamental to the operation of Westminster democracies. However, despite their political significance, there have been few attempts to analyse and theorise their internal dynamics. This article aims to address this gap by identifying the triggers of constitutional ‘softening’, when the opportunity for convention change emerges; and examining how such moments interact with the particular properties of a convention to determine its change trajectory. We argue that the change trajectories of constitutional conventions are not entirely unpredictable but can be traced to particular kinds of change events and the particular set of features inherent to that convention.

publication date

  • 2019