The Substance of Representation: Congress, American Political Development, and Lawmaking: Congress, American Political Development, and Lawmaking [NOOK Book]

Overview

Lawmaking is crucial to American democracy because it completely defines and regulates the public life of the nation. Yet despite its importance, political scientists spend very little time studying the direct impact that the politics surrounding a particular issue has on lawmaking. The Substance of Representation draws on a vast range of historical and empirical data to better understand how lawmaking works across different policy areas. Specifically, John Lapinski introduces a theoretically grounded method for ...

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The Substance of Representation: Congress, American Political Development, and Lawmaking: Congress, American Political Development, and Lawmaking

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Overview

Lawmaking is crucial to American democracy because it completely defines and regulates the public life of the nation. Yet despite its importance, political scientists spend very little time studying the direct impact that the politics surrounding a particular issue has on lawmaking. The Substance of Representation draws on a vast range of historical and empirical data to better understand how lawmaking works across different policy areas. Specifically, John Lapinski introduces a theoretically grounded method for parsing policy issues into categories, and he shows how policymaking varies in predictable ways based on the specific issue area being addressed.

Lapinski examines the ways in which key factors that influence policymaking matter for certain types of policy issues, and he includes an exhaustive look at how elite political polarization shifts across these areas. He considers how Congress behaves according to the policy issue at hand, and how particular areas--such as war, sovereignty issues, and immigration reform--change legislative performance. Relying on records of all Congressional votes since Reconstruction and analyzing voting patterns across policy areas from the late nineteenth to late twentieth centuries, Lapinski provides a comprehensive historical perspective on lawmaking in order to shed light on current practices.

Giving a clear picture of Congressional behavior in the policymaking process over time, The Substance of Representation provides insights into the critical role of American lawmaking.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Lapinski develops a new tool kit to measure and analyze an expansive set of legislation and lawmakers' policy preferences from 1877 to 2010. His key contribution to the study of the American national legislature is his coding approach and the data development, which develops a deeper understanding of lawmaking. Through these, Lapinski offers findings about polarization, elite leadership in Congress, and the influence and impact of members of Congress and their policy preferences across different areas. This work will certainly contribute to developing a new discussion within the legislative studies field and give future political scientists new possibilities of expanding the research in the area."Choice
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Product Details

Meet the Author

John S. Lapinski is associate professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania and the deputy director of elections at NBC News. He is the coeditor of The Macropolitics of Congress (Princeton).
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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Chapter I Policy Issue Substance and the Revitalization of Legislative Studies 1

  • Why We Need to Restore Policy Issue Substance to Congressional Studies 4
  • A Natural Connection: Congressional Studies, American Political Development, and Policy Studies 12
  • The Organization of the Book 14

Chapter II Bringing Policy Issue Substance Back In 19

  • Pitfalls of the Substantive Tradition 20
  • Introducing a New Policy Classification Schema 24
  • Conclusion 41
  • Appendix: Coding Schema 41

Chapter III Political Polarization and Issues: A New Perspective 54

  • Estimating Induced Preferences of Members of Congress 55
  • Political Polarization and Policy Issue Substance 57
  • House and Senate Party Unity Scores, 1877-2011 58
  • Disaggregating Political Polarization 60
  • Conclusion 64
  • Appendix 65

Chapter IV The Case Studies: Policy Issue Substance and the Political Behavior of Members of Congress (with David Bateman) 69

  • Reassessing the 95th Congress 69
  • The Case Studies: Examining Sovereignty Policy across Time 74
  • Conclusion 102
  • Appendix 103

Chapter V Legislative Accomplishment and Policy Issue Substance 104

  • Needed: Direct Measures of Legislative Accomplishment 105
  • Measuring Legislative Significance 106
  • Constructing Macro-Level Measures of Legislative Accomplishment 128
  • Conclusion 132

Chapter VI Explaining Lawmaking in the United States, 1877-1994 133

  • Critical Hypotheses and Covariates of Lawmaking 134
  • Empirically Analyzing Lawmaking 138
  • Conclusion 149

Chapter VII At the Crossroads: Policy Issue Substance, Congress, and American Political Development 150

  • Ideas for American Political Development 152
  • Ideas for Congressional Studies 159

Bibliography 161
Index 171

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