Torn and Frayed: Congressional Norms and Party Switching in an Era of Reform

Torn and Frayed: Congressional Norms and Party Switching in an Era of Reform

by Judd Choate


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Members come and go, reforms are attempted and abandoned, but congressional norms of seniority, specialization, and reciprocity adapt, survive, and continue to influence the course of American government. In the first major look at congressional normative behavior in 25 years, Choate argues these resilient folkways survive because members value the institutional stability and continuity they provide. Working from extensive on-the-record interviews with past and present House members, Choate's work is the first to study the unsettling effects on norms brought on by party switching.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780275977900
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/30/2003
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.44(d)

About the Author

JUDD CHOATE a former assistant professor of political science at the University of Nebraska and faculty fellow at the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center. From 2000 to 2002, he served as director of the Nebraska Minority and Justice Task Force, researching racial and ethnic bias in the Nebraska court system.

Table of Contents

An Examination of Congressional Norms

Project and Methods

Norms in the House: A Historical Examination

Challenging the Norms: 104th Congress

Party Switching in an Institutionalized Congress

Stability of the Norms: 104th Congress

Conclusion and Speculation

List of References

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