Comparative Politics is a series for researchers, teachers, and students of political science that deals with contemporary government and politics. Global in scope, books in the series are characterized by a stress on comparative analysis and strong methodological rigour. The series is published in association with the European Consortium for Political Research. For more information visit: www.ecprnet.eu The series is edited by Emilie van Haute, Professor of Political Science, UniversitA (c) libre de Bruxelles; Ferdinand Muller-Rommel, Director of the Center for the Study of Democracy, Leuphana University; and Susan Scarrow, John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Political Science, University of Houston. How can we explain the evolution of legislatures in Western Europe? This book analyses ninety procedural reforms which restructured control over the plenary agenda and committee power in Britain, France, Sweden, and Germany between 1866 and 2015. Legislatures evolve towards one of two procedural ideal types: talking (where governments control the agenda) or working legislatures (with powerful committees). All else being equal, legislators' demand for mega-seats on legislative committees triggers the evolution of working legislatures. If, however, legislators fail to centralize agenda control in response to anti-system obstruction, legislative procedures break down. Rather than a decline of legislatures, talking legislatures accordingly indicate the resilience of legislative democracy. In conclusion, the book shows the causal nexus between procedural reforms and (legislative) democracy.