Party Polarization in Congress

Party Polarization in Congress

by Sean M. Theriault
     
 

The political parties in Congress are as polarized as they have been since the early 1900s. This book examines more than 30 years of congressional history to understand how it is that the Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill have become so divided. It finds that two steps were critical for this development. First, the respective parties' constituencies became… See more details below

Overview

The political parties in Congress are as polarized as they have been since the early 1900s. This book examines more than 30 years of congressional history to understand how it is that the Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill have become so divided. It finds that two steps were critical for this development. First, the respective parties' constituencies became more politically and ideologically aligned. Second, members, in turn, ceded more power to their party leaders, who implemented procedures more frequently and with greater consequence. In fact, almost the entire rise in party polarization can be accounted for in the increasing frequency of and polarization on procedures used during the legislative process.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521717687
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
07/31/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

1 Party polarization in the U.S. Congress 1

Pt. I Building blocks for explaining party polarization 11

2 A brief history of party polarization 13

3 Explanations for party polarization 43

Pt. II Constituency change 59

4 Redistricting 62

5 The political and geographic sorting of constituents 85

6 Extremism of party activists 109

Pt. III Institutional change 129

7 Connecting constituency change to institutional change 131

8 The interaction in the legislative process 156

9 The link between the House and the Senate 196

10 Procedural polarization in the U.S. Congress 218

Bibliography 229

Index 239

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