Accountability in State Legislatures

Accountability in State Legislatures

by Steven Rogers
Accountability in State Legislatures

Accountability in State Legislatures

by Steven Rogers

Paperback(First Edition)

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A troubling portrait of democracy in US state legislatures.

State legislatures hold tremendous authority over key facets of our lives, ranging from healthcare to marriage to immigration policy. In theory, elections create incentives for state legislators to produce good policies. But do they?

Drawing on wide-ranging quantitative and qualitative evidence, Steven Rogers offers the most comprehensive assessment of this question to date, testing different potential mechanisms of accountability. His findings are sobering: almost ninety percent of American voters do not know who their state legislator is; over one-third of incumbent legislators run unchallenged in both primary and general elections; and election outcomes have little relationship with legislators’ own behavior.

Rogers’s analysis of state legislatures highlights the costs of our highly nationalized politics, challenging theories of democratic accountability and providing a troubling picture of democracy in the states.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226827247
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 09/11/2023
Series: Chicago Studies in American Politics
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 671,044
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Steven Rogers is associate professor of political science at Saint Louis University.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Legislators Not Seeking Reelection: You Can’t Fire Me If I Quit
Chapter 3. Challengers in State Legislative Elections: A Lack of Choice
Chapter 4. Who Represents You in the Legislature?
Chapter 5. What Do Voters Think about in State Legislative Elections?
Chapter 6. Accountability for Representation: “Out of Step” but Mostly Still in Office
Chapter 7. The Electoral Impact of Party Performance: All Politics Are Not Local
Chapter 8. “Accountability” in Primary Elections 
Chapter 9. The Cracking Foundation of Statehouse Democracy
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