Follow-ups as multifunctional questioning and answering strategies in Prime Minister's Questions

Author First name, Last name, Institution

Cornelia Ilie

Document Type


Publication Date



In parliamentary interaction, more than in other types of institutional dialogue, follow-ups indicate how UK Members of Parliament (MPs) negotiate not only the pros and cons of topic-related issues, but also their status, roles and power positions. While a follow-up is normally conditioned by preceding turns in a dialogue, and, in its turn, it helps to shape the scope, focus and/or content of subsequent uptakes and follow-ups, interactively co-constructed follow-ups during Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) display recurrent argumentative or counter-argumentative strategies since they not only highlight controversial aspects of the debated issues, but they also serve (explicitly or implicitly) to successively and repeatedly call into question the position of a political adversary, thereby undermining the latter's authority and credibility. The aim of the present investigation is to identify and examine the discursive and argumentative functions of follow-ups occurring in PMQs of the House of Commons. The main research questions to be pursued are the following: What recurrent follow-up patterns can be found in PMQs? How are follow-ups initiated and responded to in the ongoing parliamentary interaction? What impact do follow-ups have on subsequent uptakes, and on the power balance between questioning MP and responding Prime Minister?

First Page


Last Page



Social and Behavioral Sciences

Indexed in Scopus


Open Access