Legislative Leviathan: Party Government in the House / Edition 2by Gary W. Cox, Mathew D. McCubbins
Pub. Date: 03/05/2007
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This book provides an incisive new look at the inner workings of the House of Representatives in the post-World War II era. Reevaluating the role of parties and committees, Gary Cox and Mathew McCubbins view parties in the House‹especially majority parties‹as a species of "legislative cartel." These cartels usurp the power, theoretically resident in the House, to… See more details below
This book provides an incisive new look at the inner workings of the House of Representatives in the post-World War II era. Reevaluating the role of parties and committees, Gary Cox and Mathew McCubbins view parties in the House‹especially majority parties‹as a species of "legislative cartel." These cartels usurp the power, theoretically resident in the House, to make rules governing the structure and process of legislation. Possession of this rule-making power leads to two main consequences. First, the legislative process in general, and the committee system in particular, is stacked in favor of majority party interests. Second, because the majority party has all the structural advantages, the key players in most legislative deals are members of that party and the majority party's central agreements are facilitated by cartel rules and policed by the cartel's leadership. Debunking prevailing arguments about the weakening of congressional parties, Cox and McCubbins powerfully illuminate the ways in which parties exercise considerable discretion in organizing the House to carry out its work. This work will have an important impact on the study of American politics, and will greatly interest students of Congress, the presidency, and the political party system.
Author Biography: Gary W. Cox and Mathew D. McCubbins are both Professors of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego.
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Table of ContentsPart I. The Autonomy and Distinctiveness of Committees: 1. Self-selection and the subgovernment thesis; 2. The seniority system in Congress; 3. Subgovernments and the representativeness of committees; Part II. A Theory of Party Organization: 4. Institutions as solutions to collective dilemmas; 5. A theory of legislative parties; Part III. Parties as Floor Voting Coalitions: 6. On the decline of party voting in Congress; Part IV. Parties as Procedural Coalitions: Committee Appointments: 7. Party loyalty and committee assignments; 8. Contingents and parties; Part V. Parties as Procedural Coalitions: The Scheduling Power: 9. The majority party and the legislative agenda; 10. Controlling the legislative agenda.
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