Committees and Commissions Research Network (CommiNet) was set up in 2020 by a group of researchers linked to the following research groups and universities: Study Group on Institutions and Political Cultures (XVI-XXI centuries) (GEICP) of Pompeu Fabra University, Group “Biography & Parliament” of the University of the Basque Country / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Istituto di Storia dell’Europa Mediterranea del CNR (ISEM-CNR), the University of Strathclyde, the Humanities Institute (UCD) and the Department of Political Science of the University of Pisa. A large number of researchers who are members of the CommiNet are linked to the International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions (ICHRPI), which has supported, in recent years, many of the activities organized by CommiNet’s researchers.
The aim of the Committees and Commissions Research Network is to study the working commissions of parliamentary and representative institutions over the centuries, mostly in Europe, but not exclusively, assessing their political prominence and the margin of executive capacity they may had, as well as the activity and political role played by their members or their governing bodies: presidents, vice-presidents and secretaries. For this reason, it intends to address both those working committees that were merely consultative and deliberative, as well as those that had important executive and judicial functions. Both those who were linked to the legislature and those who were linked to the executive or judicial powers. Both those that were born from the hand of the central power, and those that developed from the hand of the provincial or local powers.
Methodologically, the Committees and Commissions Research Network seeks to address the working commissions from as broad a perspective as possible. Analyzing among many other aspects: 1) their establishment; 2) their nature; 3) the regulations that established them; 4) the staff that composed them; 5) their governing bodies: presidents, vice-presidents and secretaries; 6) the tasks that they received and the powers that they had; 7) the information that they controlled or obtained; 8) the contacts that they kept with the institutions that established them, with other existing bodies or with the citizens themselves; 9) how they liaised with and impacted on the tasks and functions of other institutions and / or areas of power; 10) the manner in which they made their decisions; 11) the dependence or autonomy that they maintained with the institution that established them; 12) political struggles that were resolved within or around them; 13) the results of their work and its repercussions; and 14) their duration.
Through the organization of international conferences and workshops, seminars and / or individual and collective publications, the Committees and Commissions Research Network aims to promote: 1) the study of the working commissions of parliamentary and representative institutions, which have been poorly considered and often little studied, despite the importance that some of them had in decision-making and in the elaboration of the laws that marked the configuration of a certain political, economic and social order; 2) the dissemination of the investigations that are carried out or have been carried out by the CommiNet; 3) the collaboration of the members of the CommiNet, and of their research groups and universities in pertinent scientific activities for the study of the working commissions; and 4) the dissemination of all information that may be of interest for the investigations that are being carried out on the working commissions of the parliamentary and representative institutions.