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The Oxford Handbook of the American Congress

Edited by: Eric Schickler, Frances E. Lee

ISBN13: 9780199650521
Published: March 2013
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback
Price: £30.00



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No legislature in the world has a greater influence over its nation's public affairs than the US Congress. The Congress's centrality in the US system of government has placed research on Congress at the heart of scholarship on American politics. Generations of American government scholars working in a wide range of methodological traditions have focused their analysis on understanding Congress, both as a lawmaking and a representative institution. The purpose of this volume is to take stock of this impressive and diverse literature, identifying areas of accomplishment and promising directions for future work. The editors have commissioned 37 chapters by leading scholars in the field, each chapter critically engages the scholarship focusing on a particular aspect of congressional politics, including the institution's responsiveness to the American public, its procedures and capacities for policymaking, its internal procedures and development, relationships between the branches of government, and the scholarly methodologies for approaching these topics.

The Handbook also includes chapters addressing timely questions, including partisan polarization, congressional war powers, and the supermajoritarian procedures of the contemporary Senate. Beyond simply bringing readers up to speed on the current state of research, the volume offers critical assessments of how each literature has progressed - or failed to progress - in recent decades. The chapters identify the major questions posed by each line of research and assess the degree to which the answers developed in the literature are persuasive. The goal is not simply to tell us where we have been as a field, but to set an agenda for research on Congress for the next decade. The Oxford Handbooks of American Politics are a set of reference books offering authoritative and engaging critical overviews of the state of scholarship on American politics. Each volume focuses on a particular aspect of the field. The project is under the General Editorship of George C. Edwards III, and distinguished specialists in their respective fields edit each volume. The Handbooks aim not just to report on the discipline, but also to shape it as scholars critically assess the scholarship on a topic and propose directions in which it needs to move. The series is an indispensable reference for anyone working in American politics.

Subjects:
Other Jurisdictions , USA
Contents:
PART I: INTRODUCTION
1. Studying the Congress
2. Behavioral Approaches to the Study of Congress
3. Formal Approaches to the Study of Congress
4. Measuring Legislative Preferences
5. Touching the Bones: Interviewing and Direct Observational Studies of Congress
6. Historical Approaches to the Study of Congress: Towards a Congressional Vantage on American Political Development

PART II: ELECTIONS
7. House and Senate Elections
8. Congressional Campaigns
9. Congressional Redistricting
10. Campaign Finance in Congressional Elections

PART III: REPRESENTATION AND RESPONSIVENESS
11. Descriptive Representation: Understanding the Impact of Identity on Substantive Representation of Group Interests
12. Bicameral Representation
13. Dyadic Representation
14. Pork Barrel Politics
15. Public Opinion and Congressional Policy
16. Public Evaluations of Congress by

PART IV: CONGRESSIONAL INSTITUTIONS AND PROCEDURES
17. Party Leadership
18. Congressional Committees
19. The Supermajority Senate
20. Managing Plenary Time in Democratic Legislatures: The U.S. Congress in Comparative Context
21. Congressional Reforms
22. The Congressional Budget Process

PART V: POLITICS AND POLICYMAKING
23. Party Polarization by Brian F. Schaffner
24. Deliberation in Congress
25. Roll Call Votes
26. Lobbying and Interest Group Advocacy
27. The Ties that Bind: Coalitions in Congress
28. Legislative Productivity and Gridlock

PART VI: CONGRESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
29. The Development of Congressional Elections
30. The Evolution of Party Leadership
32. The Development of the Committee System
32. Majority Rule and Minority Rights
33. Sectionalism and Congressional Development

PART VII: CONGRESS AND THE CONSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM
34. Congress & the Executive Branch: Delegation and Presidential Dominance
35. Congressional War Powers
36. The Amorphous Relationship Between Congress and the Courts

PART VIII: REFLECTIONS
37. Reflections on the Study of Congress, 1969-2009
38. Theorizing about Congress

Index