Norton's Typology of legislatures

Philip Norton distinguishes between legislatures in terms of their policy-making role and identifies three different types:

1. Policy-making legislatures, for example, the US Congress, which can formulate and substitute their own policy as well as modifying and rejecting proposals from the executive branch.

2. Policy-influencing legislatures, for example, the UK parliament and the German Bundestag, which can modify and sometimes reject measures proposed by the executive, but cannot formulate or substitute their own policy. The European Parliament would also fit in here.

3. Legislatures with little or no policy effect, for example, China’s National People's Congress, legislatures in former European communist states, which had no power to formulate, modify or reject executive proposals and met when they are required to formally approve policy that has already been agreed.