The Challenge of Congressional Representation

The Challenge of Congressional Representation

by Richard F. Fenno
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0674072693

ISBN-13: 9780674072695

Pub. Date: 04/01/2013

Publisher: Harvard

At a moment when Congress is widely viewed as hyper-partisan and dysfunctional, Richard Fenno provides a variegated picture of American representational politics. The Challenge of Congressional Representation offers an up-close-and-personal look at the complex relationship between members of Congress and their constituents back home.

When not crafting

Overview

At a moment when Congress is widely viewed as hyper-partisan and dysfunctional, Richard Fenno provides a variegated picture of American representational politics. The Challenge of Congressional Representation offers an up-close-and-personal look at the complex relationship between members of Congress and their constituents back home.

When not crafting policy in Washington, the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives are busy assessing and building voter support in their districts. Fenno delves into the activities of five members of the House—Republicans representing Pennsylvania and New York, and Democrats from California, Florida, and Illinois. Spanning the ideological spectrum, these former and current representatives are senior lawmakers and rookie back-benchers from both urban and rural areas. Fenno travels with them in their own political territories, watching and talking with them, conducting interviews, and meeting aides and constituents. He illuminates the all-consuming nature of representational work—the complicated lives of House members shuttling back and forth between home and Capitol, building and maintaining networks, and making compromises. Agreeing to talk on the record without protective anonymity, these elected House members emerge as real personalities, at once praiseworthy and fallible.

While voting patterns and policy analysis constitute an important window into the legislative process, the nonquantifiable human element that political scientists so frequently overlook is the essence of negotiation. Fenno focuses our attention on how congressional leaders negotiate with constituents as well as with colleagues.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674072695
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
04/01/2013
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Constituencies, Connections, and Representation: A Research Focus 4

2 Barber Conable: Local Boy 15

3 Glenn Poshard: Textbook Representative 45

4 Karen Thurman: Promising Legislator 85

Addendum I Two Representatives, Two Connection Patterns 133

5 Jim Greenwood: Moderate Republican 138

6 Zoe Lofgren: Liberal Democrat 185

Addendum II Two Partisans, Two Playing Fields 224

7 Constituency-Centered Scholarship 227

Notes 235

Acknowledgments 253

Index 255

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