The Political And Institutional Effects Of Term Limits

Overview

Discontent with politics and politicians has led to calls for term limits in the belief that new faces would bring new perspectives and the influence of monied special interests would decrease. This innovative volume examines the effects of term limits by combining statistical analysis of the effects of terms limits on electoral competition, campaign contributions, and the activities of the Michigan legislature with in-depth interviews with legislators. The book sheds important light on the political, ...

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Overview

Discontent with politics and politicians has led to calls for term limits in the belief that new faces would bring new perspectives and the influence of monied special interests would decrease. This innovative volume examines the effects of term limits by combining statistical analysis of the effects of terms limits on electoral competition, campaign contributions, and the activities of the Michigan legislature with in-depth interviews with legislators. The book sheds important light on the political, institutional and individual effects of terms limits. The authors find many surprises that neither advocates nor opponents anticipated, included shifts in the balance of power, changes within and between political parties, and new career paths for politicians.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Scholars, practioners, jourbanalists and voters who read this important contribution to the study of state legislative term limits will have a better understanding the consequences in Michigan, California and around the country. The book examines pre and post term limits data to identify effects in the political environment, personal characteristics of legislators, and governing institutions. While focusing on Michigan, comparisons with California provide additional support for the findings regarding composition, competition, and action."
—Rick Farmer, University of Akron

"Term limits is one of the most hotly-debated topics in state politics today, and this book provides unexpected findings and new insights that will make compelling reading for scholars, practitioners, and anyone who cares about democracy and policymaking. This carefully-constructed, rigorous study provides an in-depth, detailed picture of the state legislature in electoral politics and governance over time, before and after term limits. The portrait is a troubling one that largely contradicts the aims of term limit reforms - weakening electoral competition, lessening democratic responsiveness, and strengthening the role of lobbyists in policymaking. Beyond the considerable contribution that this study makes to academic research on the topic, its lucid style and concrete policy recommendations should enhance its appeal to the broad audience it deserves."
—Karen Mossberger, Kent State University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403965141
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 9/1/2004
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Marjorie Sarbaugh-Thompson is Associate Professor, Charles D. Elder is Professor, Lyke Thompson is Professor, Richard Elling is Professor, and John Strate is Associate Professor, all at Wayne State University.

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Table of Contents

Section I: Political Impacts of Term Limits
Electoral Competition and Incumbency Advantages
• Funding Campaigns in a Term Limited House
• The Interest Group Connection: Money, Expertise and Support
Section II: Term-Limited Representatives: Who They Are and Where They're Going
Who They Are: Personal Characteristics of Term Limited Representatives
• Legislative Careers Under Term Limits: Motives and Aspirations
• Home Style Under Term Limits: Responsiveness to Constituents
Section III: Term Limits and the Michigan House as an Institution
How Term-Limited Representatives Make Up Their Minds
• Winning Friends and Influencing People in a Term Limited House
• Conflict, Compromise and Partisanship: Committees Under Term Limits
• Checks and Balances: Relationships Within Government Under Term Limits
Conclusions
The New Term-limited Age: Aquarius or Armageddon

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