How Congress Evolves: Social Bases of Institutional Change / Edition 1

How Congress Evolves: Social Bases of Institutional Change / Edition 1

by Nelson W. Polsby
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Oxford University Press, USA
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How Congress Evolves: Social Bases of Institutional Change / Edition 1

In this greatly entertaining tale of one of our most august institutions, Nelson Polsby argues that among other things, from the 50's to the 90's, Congress evolved. In short, Polsby argues that air conditioning altered the demography of the southern states, which in turn changed the political parties of the South, which transformed the composition and in due course the performance of the US House of Representatives. This evolutionary process led to the House's liberalization and later to its transformation into an arena of sharp partisanship, visible among both Democrats and Republicans. How Congress Evolves breathes new life into the dusty corners of institutional history, and offers a unique explanation for important transformations in the congressional environment.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195182965
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 04/02/2005
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

I. The House in Sam Rayburn's Time
A Conservative House: 1937-1957
After the 1958 Election: Frustration
The Rump Session of 1960
Packing the Rules Committee by Avoiding the Democratic Caucus: 1961
II. Toward Liberalization
Succession to Rayburn
Conflict within the Caucus: Liberals against the Leadership, 1963
Incremental Committee Packing: Appropriations, 1963
Republican Committee Packing: Maintaining the Party Mainstream, 1961-1963
The Landslide: 1964
The Democratic Study Group Uses the Caucus: 1967-72
Fallout from Watergate: The Caucus Puts Seniority under Siege
A Remodeled House
III. Causes of Liberalization
The House Democratic Caucus
The Rise of the Two-Party South
Southern Republicans in the 1990s: A Group Portrait
IV. Consequences: Toward a More Responsible Two-Party System?
The Retreat from Bipartisanship in Committee
Two Strategies of Opposition
An Era of Ill-Feeling
Tyranny Tempered by Assassination
V. Overview: How Congress Evolves
Innovation and Stalemate
Overview of the House
Stories about Change
Appendix: Methods and Sources

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