Disjointed Pluralism: Institutional Innovation and the Development of the U.S. Congress

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Overview

From the 1910 overthrow of "Czar" Joseph Cannon to the reforms enacted when Republicans took over the House in 1995, institutional change within the U.S. Congress has been both a product and a shaper of congressional politics. For several decades, scholars have explained this process in terms of a particular collective interest shared by members, be it partisanship, reelection worries, or policy motivations. Eric Schickler makes the case that it is actually interplay among multiple interests that determines institutional change. In the process, he explains how congressional institutions have proved remarkably adaptable and yet consistently frustrating for members and outside observers alike.
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Editorial Reviews

Political Science Quarterly - Garry Young
If we know anything about the U.S. Congress it is this: Congress is a dynamic, ever-changing institution. . . . Alas, for good reasons our theories of congressional organization tend to the static and our empirical analyses tend to the cross-sectional. Eric Schickler's fine book joins a growing set of efforts to understand how and why Congress changes.
Congress and the Presidency - Keith E. Whittington
This book is essential reading for those interested in internal legislative politics, and an important contribution to the more general literature on American politics.
From the Publisher
Winner of the Fenno Prize

"This is a very good read for students of Congress who puzzle over the institution's configuration. . . . An excellent examination of institutional change."—Choice

"If we know anything about the U.S. Congress it is this: Congress is a dynamic, ever-changing institution. . . . Alas, for good reasons our theories of congressional organization tend to the static and our empirical analyses tend to the cross-sectional. Eric Schickler's fine book joins a growing set of efforts to understand how and why Congress changes."—Garry Young, Political Science Quarterly

"This book is essential reading for those interested in internal legislative politics, and an important contribution to the more general literature on American politics."—Keith E. Whittington, Congress and the Presidency

Choice
This is a very good read for students of Congress who puzzle over the institution's configuration. . . . An excellent examination of institutional change.
Political Science Quarterly
If we know anything about the U.S. Congress it is this: Congress is a dynamic, ever-changing institution. . . . Alas, for good reasons our theories of congressional organization tend to the static and our empirical analyses tend to the cross-sectional. Eric Schickler's fine book joins a growing set of efforts to understand how and why Congress changes.
— Garry Young
Congress and the Presidency
This book is essential reading for those interested in internal legislative politics, and an important contribution to the more general literature on American politics.
— Keith E. Whittington
Political Science Quarterly
If we know anything about the U.S. Congress it is this: Congress is a dynamic, ever-changing institution. . . . Alas, for good reasons our theories of congressional organization tend to the static and our empirical analyses tend to the cross-sectional. Eric Schickler's fine book joins a growing set of efforts to understand how and why Congress changes.
— Garry Young
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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of Figures ix
List of Tables xi
Acknowledgments xiii
Chapter 1. Disjointed Pluralism and Institutional Change 3
Chapter 2. Institutional Development, 1890-1910: An Experiment in Party Government 27
Chapter 3. Institutional Development, 1919-1932: Cross-Party Coalitions, Bloc Government, and Republican Rule 85
Chapter 4. Institutional Development, 1937-1952: The Conservative Coalition, Congress against the Executive, and Committee Government 136
Chapter 5. Institutional Development, 1970-1989: A Return to Party Government or the Triumph of Individualism? 189
Chapter 6. Understanding Congressional Change 249
Epilogue. Institutional Change in the 1990s 270
Appendix A. Case Selection 277
Appendix B. Votes Pertaining to Institutional Changes in
Each Period 281
Notes 295
References 329
Index 349

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