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Why Not Parties?: Party Effects in the United States Senate

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Recent research on the U.S. House of Representatives largely focuses on the effects of partisanship, but the strikingly less frequent studies of the Senate still tend to treat parties as secondary considerations in a chamber that gives its members far more individual leverage than congressmen have. In response to the recent increase in senatorial partisanship, Why Not Parties? corrects this imbalance with a series of original essays that focus exclusively on the effects of parties in the workings of the upper chamber.
Illuminating the growing significance of these effects, the contributors explore three major areas, including the electoral foundations of parties, partisan procedural advantage, and partisan implications for policy. In the process, they investigate such issues as whether party discipline can overcome Senate mechanisms that invest the most power in individuals and small groups; how parties influence the making of legislation and the distribution of pork; and whether voters punish senators for not toeing party lines. The result is a timely corrective to the notion that parties don’t matter in the Senate—which the contributors reveal is far more similar to the lower chamber than conventional wisdom suggests.

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Editorial Reviews

Morris P. Fiorina
 “For nearly two decades legislative scholars have actively researched the extent and nature of party influence in today’s Congress and how it compares with the past. But the lion’s share of research has equated ‘Congress’ with the House of Representatives while largely ignoring the question of party influence in the Senate. This wide-ranging collection of essays goes a long way toward redressing the imbalance.”
Steven S. Smith
“Timely, sophisticated, and well written, this volume contains an unusual number of new and important pieces. There is no comparable book on Senate politics.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226534879
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2008
  • Pages: 282
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Nathan W. Monroe is assistant professor of political science at the University of California, Merced. Jason M. Roberts is assistant professor of political science at the University of Minnesota. David W. Rohde is the Ernestine Friedl Professor of Political Science at Duke University.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction: Assessing the Impact of Parties in the U.S. Senate Nathan W. Monroe Monroe, Nathan W. Jason M. Roberts Roberts, Jason M. David W. Rohde Rohde, David W. 1

2 Electoral Accountability, Party Loyalty, and Roll-Call Voting in the U.S. Senate Jamie L. Carson Carson, Jamie L. 23

3 Party and Constituency in the U.S. Senate, 1933-2004 John Aldrich Aldrich, John Michael Brady Brady, Michael Scottde Marchi Marchi, Scottde Ian McDonald McDonald, Ian Brendan Nyhan Nyhan, Brendan David W.Rohde Rohde, David W. Michael Tofias Tofias, Michael 39

4 Scoring the Senate: Scorecards, Parties, and Roll-Call Votes Jason M. Roberts Roberts, Jason M. Lauren Cohen Bell Bell, Lauren Cohen 52

5 The Senate Whip System: An Exploration Erin M. Bradbury Bradbury, Erin M. Ryan A. Davidson Davidson, Ryan A. C. Lawrence Evans Evans, C. Lawrence 73

6 Party Loyalty and Discipline in the Individualistic Senate Kathryn Pearson Pearson, Kathryn 100

7 Make Way for the Party: The Rise and Fall of the Senate National Security Committees, 1947-2006 Linda L. Fowler Fowler, Linda L. R. Brian Law Law, R. Brian 121

8 Agenda Influence and Tabling Motions in the U.S. Senate Chris Den Hartog Hartog, Chris Den Nathan W. Monroe Monroe, Nathan W. 142

9 Filibustering and Majority Rule in the Senate: The Contest over Judicial Nominations, 2003-2005 Gregory Koger Koger, Gregory 159

10 Minority-Party Power in the Senate and House of Representatives Sean Gailmard Gailmard, Sean Jeffery A. Jenkins Jenkins, Jeffery A. 181

11 Catch-22: Cloture, Energy Policy, and the Limits of Conditional Party Government Bruce I. Oppenheimer Oppenheimer, Bruce I. Marc J. Hetherington Hetherington, Marc J.198

12 Distributive and Partisan Politics in the U.S. Senate: An Exploration of Earmarks Michael H. Crespin Crespin, Michael H. Charles I. Finocchiaro Finocchiaro, Charles I. 229

References 253

Contributors 271

Index 275

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