The aim of the Commission is to promote research into the origin, growth and development of representative and parliamentary institutions throughout the world in all periods. In particular, it encourages the study of the development of representative institutions in a wide and comparative way. It facilitates the international exchange of bibliographical information. It is concerned with the political theory and institutional practice of representation as well as with the internal organization and the social and political background to parliaments and assemblies of estates.
The Commission now has two hundred members from at least thirty countries including the United States of America, Russia and almost all European countries. It meets every year at the invitation of the national sections or university organizations and once every five years in association with the International Congress of Historical Sciences, of which it is an affiliated organization. Over 90 volumes have appeared in its series of Studies, and any scholars who are intending to publish monographs that fall within the range of the Commission's interests and who might like them to be included in this series should write to the Director of Publications.
Historians and political scientists interested in any aspect of the history of representative institutions are warmly invited to join the Commission. Details are given in the Newsletter section of the journal. Paid-up members receive free copies of the journal Parliaments, Estates and Representation, which is published twice a year.