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Legislative Style - by William Bernhard & Tracy Sulkin (Paperback)
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Once elected, congresspeople face choices about how to allocate their time and effort. What is the right balance between working in the district and on Capitol Hill? How much legislation should they introduce? On which issues should they focus? What is the optimal amount of time to spend fundraising? To what extent should they toe the party line? William Bernhard and Tracy Sulkin argue that, together, these decisions define a congressperson’s ?legislative style.” They contend that legislators adopt styles that align with their ambitions, experiences, personal inclinations, and their electoral and institutional constraints. In turn, legislative styles shape the nature of representation that constituents receive, the scope and content of the policy legacy that members leave, and the paths their careers take. In this book they develop ways to measure the choices members make and create a typology of ?legislative style.” The authors start by describing data they collected on sixteen indicators of legislative activity including the proportion of staff allocated to district offices, number of bills introduced, number of speeches given on the floor, total amount of money raised, and percentage of the time the member voted with the party. They then group this data into eight indices, each reflecting a component of legislative style. They rate each congressperson from the 101st to the 110th Congress according to the number of activities in each index and come up with characterizations of their styles. They describe five styles: policy specialists, party soldier, district advocate, party builders, and ambitious entrepreneurs. They argue that members develop fairly consistent styles although they can change over time. They look at the members during each Congress and track their careers to measure change over time. This study enables us to better understand the choices legislators make and the consequences these choices have for them.
Number of Pages: 259
Genre: Political Science
Series Title: Chicago Studies in American Politics
Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
Author: William Bernhard & Tracy Sulkin
Street Date: January 18, 2018
Item Number (DPCI): 248-56-4049
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