POS 6427
Congressional Politics
Professor Lawrence C. Dodd
University of Florida, Spring, 2008

           
Week One: Introduction (Jan 8)

PART ONE: STUDYING THE POST-WAR CONGRESS-AN OVERVIEW

Week Two: Historical Perspectives on Congress (Jan 15)

Week Three: Theoretical Perspectives on Congress (Jan 22)
      
Week Four: The House vs. the Senate (Jan 29)

Week Five: Constituencies, Representation and Elections (Feb 5)

Week Six:  Parties and Committees (Feb 12)

Week Seven: Goals, Careers and Legislative Decision-making (Feb 19)

Week Eight: The Contemporary Legislative Process (Feb 26)

Week Nine: Enacting and Implementing Public Policy (March 4)

Spring Break (Week of March 11th)
   
Preparation of Mid-term Exam: Due March 18th

PART TWO: DOING CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH

Week Ten: Preparation of Research Designs (NO CLASS: March 18)

Week Eleven: Discussion of Research Designs (March 25)

Week Twelve: Discussion of Research Designs (April 1)

Week Thirteen: Faculty/Student Research Presentations (April 8)

Week Fourteen: Faculty/Student Research Presentations (April 15)

Week Fifteen: Discussion of Research Projects (April 22)


 
Seminar Objectives

This course is a graduate-level introduction to the study of the U. S. Congress during the post-war era. Part I focuses on introducing you to critical topics and literature and Part II is devoted to the preparation of research papers. The course is a companion course to Professor Dodd’s seminar on American Legislative Development. The ALD course seeks to help students understand congressional development: why it has been important historically as a vital representative and policy-making institution within our broader social, political and constitutional system, how it changes across time, and how it sustains and replenishes its constitutional powers. The current course focuses in-depth on the changing character of Congress in the Post-War era from 1945 to the present. In doing so, the course will examine closely the post-war functioning of the Congress as a representative and policy-making institution; the theories and methods that inform our understanding of the post-war Congress; and research programs that help explain post-war politics in Congress.

The American Congress is the most extensively studied political institution in the world. Journalistic coverage of the Congress – by such newspapers and journals as the Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, Washington Post, Washington Times, Wall Street Journal,  New York Times, Los Angeles Times and National Journal provide a daily account of the Congress rich in detail, colorful in its analysis, and unparalleled in thoroughness. The Congressional Record adds a daily record of the speeches and commentaries of House and Senate members. Similarly, the Congress makes available the language of all bills it considers and all laws it passes, the results of roll call votes from committee and floor action, the hearings and reports of committees, and a wide array of information from its caucuses and subcaucuses. And of course there are any number of popular books on the Congress, usually by journalists, that address particular issues of congressional politics. To all of this is then added the scholarly literature on Congress – itself the most voluminous such literature about any political institution in world history.

Our task in this course is to grasp the major trends, themes and theories that characterize the scholarly study of the post-war Congress while ensuring that students gain a sufficient general understanding of the institution (aided by popular and journalistic accounts and, if possible, first hand observation) that they can assess the explanatory value of specialized scholarly work, see the relevance of scholarly work to the real-world institution, assess the broad strengths and weaknesses of congressional scholarship as a body of knowledge, and contribute to systematic analysis of the Congress in innovative ways through their own scholarly activities. This is both a daunting task – given the voluminous literature on the Congress – and yet also an exciting one.

Because the literature on Congress is so well-developed, there is considerable opportunity for students of the Congress to make methodological, theoretical and interpretive breakthroughs that  not only help clarify congressional politics but also illuminate the broader study of politics. In other words, the study of Congress is sufficiently well-developed, and a broader array of journalistic and popular knowledge is sufficiently accessible, that students are not confined to research efforts that describe the broad outlines of congressional politics. Instead, they can look for explanatory connections among a well-studied array of electoral and institutional processes. In doing so, they can also examine the interpretive implications that congressional politics may have for understanding other political institutions, at home and abroad.

Stated more bluntly, if political science is to develop general theories or paradigmatic perspectives on such topics as elections and representation, political careerism and institutional performance, institutional change and organizational adaptation, agenda evolution and policy responsiveness, or constitutional design and institutional power – such developments could well  come as a result of findings, methods and theories developed in congressional studies. In essence, the information and literature on the Congress are so well-developed that in studying Congress as a scholarly endeavor students are not simply examining one of the world’s most powerful representative assemblies. They also are exploring the cutting edge of data, methods and theories about politics and positioning themselves to contribute to new cutting edge developments.

The course introduces students to the scholarly study of the Congress by immersing them in the literature on Congress and by asking them to conduct an original research paper due during finals week. Because of the quantity of published work on Congress, the course ‘picks and chooses’ among many excellent studies. In the process, a genuine effort is made to introduce students to a pluralistic array of research styles, topics and analytical perspectives. This is not a course in one ‘school’ of congressional studies, but an effort to help students be aware of the different schools and perspectives that have emerged during the development of congressional studies, hopefully thereby enabling them to choose approaches that best fit their own talents and topical interests. At the same time, a major theme of the course is that a critical aspect of understanding Congress is studying it ‘up close and personal,’ so that all students are encouraged to do field work on Capitol Hill or in congressional districts as a part of their research, either during the semester or at a subsequent point in research development. They are also encouraged to consider a summer as an intern on Capitol Hillif they plan a dissertation on the Congress.

Following the introductory week, the course will be divided into two parts. Part One focuses on n overview of the major topics of congressional studies and highlights research that helps illuminate these topics. The reading in Part One is heavy, with students expected to immerse themselves in learning Congress by reading about it. By the end of Part I  students should have a reasonable grasp of Post-War Congressional Politics and research on it. At that point, OVER SPRING BREAK, students will write a ‘take-home’ examine which tests their knowledge of  post-war congressional politics and, in the process, serves as a primer for prelim questions on the Congress. That take-home exam will be due to Professor Dodd by email no later than 5pm on March 18th. Additionally, by spring break (and preferably by Week Five) students should have a sufficiently well-developed understanding of Congress and congressional research to choose a topic for original research.

Spring Break and Week Ten will provide a time for students to make a final choice of a research topic and draft a research design. Part Two of the course then focuses on “Doing Congressional research.” During Weeks Ten and Eleven students will present their initial research designs and discuss the designs of others. Thereafter will come several weeks in which the seminar sessions will focus on faculty research projects – with presentations by various faculty – while students pursue their personal research endeavors. The last class meeting will involve student discussions of their research findings. Final research papers will be due to Professor Dodd during finals week.
.
During Part I, to facilitate class discussion, students are asked to write a short weekly essay (about a page and a half long) addressing a central question relevant to the reading and to email the essay to Professor Dodd and all other students by Monday at 5pm the day before the Tuesday class. These email assignments will be ungraded, but will be considered in final grade decisions as a contribution to class discussion. For selected weeks, students are asked to complete graded papers, which will contribute to the final grade decision, as follows. The topics for these writing assignments will be handed out as the syllabus is finalized.

Required Readings

The required books for this course are available for purchase at Goerings Bookstore near campus. Most of these are also on reserve in Library West. In addition, virtually all essays and articles used in the course are available in books placed on reserve in Library West, or in appropriate journals. Material not available easily on reserve will be placed in the department library or provided through handouts in class.

Reading Code:
    ***read closely
      **read for the major points
        *read if time permits/or for special interest

Abbreviations:
    1.   CR I - VII refers to Congress Reconsidered, editions one through seven, on reserve.
    2.   Studies refers to Studies of Congress, edited by Glenn Parker, on reserve.
3.     Two Decades refers to Ralph Huitt and Robert Peabody, eds., Congress: Two Decades of Analysis, on reserve
    4.    APSR refers to the American Political Science Review
5.     AJPS refers to the American Journal of Political Science
6.     LSQ refers to the Legislative Studies Quarterly

Class Assignments

First and foremost, students are expected to complete the reading for each week and to participate in class discussion. Because the literature on Congress is so vast, and because this course seeks to introduce you to a broad range of perspectives and topics present in congressional studies, the reading for the course will be extensive. Nevertheless, Professor Dodd has necessarily made a number of choices, leaving out a number of outstanding scholarly works, analytic perspectives and important topics. Even in doing so, a large introductory body of reading remains.

In exploring this reading, students are encourage to make some choices of their own about what to read, and how closely to read it, as seems necessary given available time, energy, and commitment to the study of Congress. To facilitate these choices, Professor Dodd has ‘starred’ the readings. The three-stars (***) designate material that is absolutely essential for the weekly discussion topics, and should be read closely and attentively. The two-stars (**) indicate that the reading is important to the weekly discussion and should be examined before class, looking for its major points. The one-starred reading (*) tends to explore specialized work relevant to a class topic and can be consulted if time and personal interest permit. “Recommended Reading” is intended to guide students to additional work to consider for research projects, prelim preparation, or personal knowledge. Except for ‘background’ studies and descriptive contemporary commentaries, everything assigned in the class can be considered of ‘classic’ status (or in some cases as being short summaries by authors of ‘classic work’ published in books or multiple articles too lengthy for this course). The star system does not indicate the quality of the work at hand, but its centrality to class discussion for a particular week. Appropriate engagement in class discussion, based on completing and mastering the core reading, will be considered in final grade decisions.

Goerings has been asked to make all of the following books available for purchase. In addition, the Library has been asked to put these books on reserve, as available, and they can be purchased from Amazon.com.

Lawrence Dodd and Bruce Oppenheimer, Congress Reconsidered, 8th edition.
Julian Zelizer, On Capitol Hill
Nelson Polsby, How Congress Evolves
Nolan McCarty, et. al., Polarized America
Charles Stewart III, Analyzing Congress
David Mayhew, America’s Congress
David Mayhew, Congress: The Electoral Connection
Tracy Sulkin, Issue Politics in Congress
Gary Jacobson, The Politics of Congressional Elections
Richard Fenno, Home Style
Frances Lee and Bruce Oppenheimer, Sizing Up the Senate
David Rohde, Parties and Leaders in the PostReform House
Christopher Deering and Steven Smith, Committees in Congress
Gary Cox and Mathew McCubbins, Legislative Leviathan
David Price, The Congressional Experience
Barbara Sinclair, Unorthodox Lawmaking
Forrest Maltzman, Competing Principals: Committees, Parties and the Organization of Congress
David Brady and Craig Volden, Revolving Gridlock,
Sarah Binder, Stalemate
Diana Owens, Greasing the Wheels



 
Week Two: Historical Perspectives on Congress


I.     Historical Perspectives on Congress

**Joseph Cooper and David Brady, “Toward a Diachronic Analysis of Congress,”
APSR, 1981

***Polsby, “Institutionalization of the U.S. House,” APSR, 62: 1968, pp. 144-168,
or in Parker, Studies

**Stewart, Analyzing Congress, Chapters 2, 3

***Cooper, “From Congressional to Presidential Preimminence” in CR VIII

***Mayhew, America’s Congress: all

II.   The Post-War Congress

**Samuel P. Huntington, “Congressional Responses to the Twentieth Century,” in
Truman, Congress and America’s Future.

**Dodd and Schott, Congress and the Administrative State, 1979, Chs. 1-5, reserve
              
***Dodd, “Congress, the Constitution, and the Crisis of Legitimation,” in CRII, 1981

***Zelizer, On Capitol Hill: All  


Weekly Email Questions: Please answer both of the following questions:

1.    How Is the Post-War Congress different from and similar to Congress in earlier historical eras and how might you explain these similarities and differences based on what you currently know about congressional politics? About a page to a page and a half, single-spaced
2.    What area/topics of congressional politics would you consider for conducting a research project in this class this semester? Why, and what kind of project? Half page to a page single-spaced

    Highly Recommended: Eric Schickler, Disjointed Pluralism:          

    Looking Ahead: Works we will read next week include Mayhew, Congress: The
             Electoral Connection and Polsby, How Congress Evolves   


 
Week Three: Selected Theoretical/Analytical Perspectives on Congress
                         
I.    Landmark Works in the Study of Congress: An Overview
   
**Nelson Polsby and Eric Schickler, “Landmarks in the Study of Congress
Since 1945,” Annual Review of Political Science, 2002, Vol. 5, 359-67.
   
See also: Robert L. Peabody, “Research on Congress: A Coming of Age,” in Huitt and Peabody, in Congress: Two Decades of Analysis, (hereafter  referred to as Two Decades) 1969.
   
II.    The Dominant “Goal-Seeking” Interpretation of Congress: Mayhew and His
              Competitors

***David Mayhew, Congress: the Electoral Connection: all, including prologue/preface
      Review also: Fiorina, Congress: Keystone of the Washington Establishment

***Critiques and complementary perspectives:

a.    Read the colloquium discussion of the book in PS: Political Science and Politics, Volume XXXIV, #3, June, 2001.   
b.    Fenno, Congressmen in Committees, “Introduction” and Chapter One
c.    Dodd, “Congress and the Quest for Power,” (in Congress Reconsidered (CR), first edition, 1977) and Parker, Studies of Congress) and
         
III.    Organizational Perspectives on Congress

*Cooper, “Congress in Organizational Perspective,” In CR I.
***Cox and McCubbins, The Legislative Leviathan, Introduction, Chaps 4, 5
***Shepsle, “Institutional Equilbrium and Equilibrium Institutions,” in Weisberg,
Political Science: The Science of Politics, 1986.
***Dodd, “The Cycles of Legislative Change,” in Weisberg, above.

IV.    Social Structure Perspectives

       ***Polsby, How Congress Evolves, all
       ***McCarty, Poole and Rosenthal, Polarized America, Chapter 1
           *Review, Dodd, “Congress, the Constitution, and the Crisis of Legitimation”

V.    Spatial//Identity/Ideational Perspectives

***Stewart, Analyzing Congress, Chapter 1.
***Hawkesworth, “Congressional Enactments of Race-Gender: Toward
A Theory of Raced-Gendered Institutions,” American Political Science
Review 97 (2003): 529-550.
***Dodd, “Congress, the Presidency, and the American Experience: A
Transformational Perspective,” In Thurber, Divided Democracy, 1991
***Koopman, Hostile Takeover, Handout.
***Dodd, “ReEnvisioning Congress,” Read version in either 7th or 8th edition of CR.

VI.    Integrative and Process Perspectives

***Arnold, The Logic of Congressional Action, Chapters 1 and 2
***Schickler, Disjointed Pluralism
***Dodd, “ReEnvisioning Congress,” the version in the 7th or 8th Edition of CR.
***Baumgartner and Jones, Policy Dynamics, Chapter 1
*** Jones, Baumgartner and True, “Policy Punctuations: U.S. Budget Authority,
           947-95.” JOP: (1999) 60, 1-30. Also see Jones/Baumgartner, The Politics of
           Attention
    
Email Assignments:
1.    What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of Mayhew’s argument in The Electoral Connection and how would you improve on it and or expand on it?___Kim, Matthew___
2.    What are the advantages and disadvantages of moving beyond a re-election focus and considering other member goals in the explanation of congressional
behavior?___ Michael B.___
3.    Why do Cox and McCubbins believe political parties are the central organizational unit in Congress and how persuasive is there argument? Does it seem to work for Congress under all conditions across time, or is it a time-bound, context-bound or policy-bound perspective?___Paulina, Josh___
4.    What does Shepsle mean by institutional equilibrium and equilibrium institutions and how might this aid the study of Congress and other branches of government such as the Court?___Donald___
5.    What is Polsby’s ‘social structure’ argument in How Congress Evolves, how does it differ from goal-oriented and organizational perspectives, and what do you see as its contribution to our understanding of congressional change in the postwar era?___Chris, Jayme,____
6.    What is the social structure argument in Polarized America, how do the authors propose to test it, and how might it help us understand congressional change in the postwar era?____Rob___
7.    What are Raced-Gendered Institutions and how is this concept and the study of it relevant to Congress, with what theoretical and research implications?___Adann___
8.    What is the argument of Arnold in The Logic of Congressional Action, with respect to legislator-constituent relations and their affect on congressional action, and how persuasive/useful is it?___Kevin__
9.    How might scholars think about policy reversals by Congress from the perspective of Arnold versus Baumgartner and Jones and what implications would your answer have for your expected dissertation work?____Jordan____
10.    What is the value of multiple theoretical perspectives on Congress, as seen in Dodd’s ReEnvisioning Congress,” and what are its drawbacks and limits? What perspective does it provide on congressional change in the postwar era and how might that perspective be improved on?___ Jackie____


 
Week Four: The House versus the Senate

I.           An Overview

*Baker, House and Senate, Chapters One and Two
***Fenno, “The Internal Distribution of Influence: The House” AND Huitt, “The
Internal Distribution of Influence: The Senate” in Truman, Congress and
America’s Future
***Carmines and Dodd, “ Bicameralism in Congress: The Changing Partnership,” in
CR III, 1985.
***Fenno, “Looking for the Senate: Reminiscences and Residuals,” U. S. Senate
Exceptionalism
        
II.           The Modern Senate

**Huitt, “Democratic Party Leadership in the Senate,” APSR, LV (June,
1961), 331-344, And “The Outsider in the Senate: An
Alternative Role,” APSR LV (Sept, 1961), 566-575, both in
Two Decades
   ***Sinclair, The Transformation of the U.S. Senate: all
   ***Sinclair, “The New World of U.S. Senators” In CR VIII
   ***Lee and Oppenheimer, Sizing Up the Senate: all
   ***Sinclair, “The 60-Vote Senate,” in U.S. Senate Exceptionalism.
   
III.              The Modern House

***Cooper and Brady, “Institutional Context and Leadership Style: The House from
Cannon to Rayburn,” APSR 75 (1981): 411-425
***Rohde, Parties and Leaders in the Post-reform House: all
**Koopman, Hostile Takeover, Introduction and Chapters 1-3, 6 (Library Reserve)
***Dodd and Oppenheimer, “A Decade of Republican Control: The
House of Representatives, 1995-2005” CR VIII.

IV.           Some Arenas of Comparative Bicameral Research

a.    Congressional Reform:
***Schickler, McGhee and Sides, “Remaking the House and Senate: Personal Power, Ideology and the 1970s Reforms,” LSQ 28 (3):
297-333.
b. Congressional Elections:
***Alford and Hibbing, “Electoral Convergence in the U.S. Congress,”
in Oppenheimer, ed., U.S. Senate Exceptionalism.
c. Congressional Careers:
***Weisberg, Classics in Congressional Studies, Chapter 12 (by
editors), Chapter 13, Matthews, “Folkways of the Senate”(or
APSR, 53: 1064-89) and Chapter 14 Asher, “The
Learning of Legislative Norms” (or APSR, 67: 499-513).
d. Congressional Polarization:
***McCarty, Poole and Rosenthal, Polarized America, Chapter 2
 
V.        Perspectives on Future Research and Theorizing

***Rohde, “Seeing the House and Senate Together: Some Reflections on Research on the Exceptional Senate,” U.S. Senate
             Exceptionalism
***Dodd, “Making Sense Out of Our Exceptional Senate: Perspectives
and Commentary” in Oppenheimer, U. S. Senate
Exceptionalism.

Email Assignments:
1.    What are the basic contrasts between the House and Senate identified by Baker and why are they important?___Kim____
2.    Why and how do Carmines and Dodd (publishing in 1985) see bicameralism changing across history, particularly since WWII, and how does the research of Alford and Hibbing (published in 2002) speak to their analysis?____Chris_____
3.    What is Sinclair’s argument in Transformation and how do “New World”
      “And 60-Vote” extend and inform her earlier argument?____Rob______
4.    What is Lee and Oppenheimer’s core argument in Sizing Up and what is its
    relevance to our understanding of Congress?_____Michael_____
5.    What are Rohde’s core arguments in Parties and Leaders about why the House moved from the textbook Congress to Conditional Party government and how
    persuasive do you find his argument?____Adann____
6.    What were the norms of the House and Senate like in the early post-War era, as seen in the work of Matthews and Asher, and also Huitt on the ‘Outsider,’ and
    how likely are the changes of the past two decades to have altered and upended
      those norms? How might one gauge what the contemporary norms are and what
      their causes and consequences are?____Paulina____
7.    What role did power versus ideology play in the reforms of the House versus the Senate in the 1970s?____Donald_______
8.    Based on the reading thus far in this course, including Zelizer, Sinclair, and Dodd and Oppenheimer, how would you compare and contrast the way in which the Republican Revolution swept the House versus the Senate, and with what
    Similar/different consequences?____Josh, Jordan_____
9.    What are the major research areas that Rohde stresses in “Seeing….Together”, how might they best be framed, and what kinds of specific research endeavors might flow from them?___Jackie_____
10.    What is Dodd’s argument in “Making Sense” about why and how the House and Senate may be analytically different kinds of institutions, requiring different theoretical lenses to see and comprehend them?___Kevin__
Some Thought Questions:  (1)Detail three or four major differences between the House and the Senate as institutions and discuss their combined implication  for the development  of Congress.
           (2)Briefly compare  and  explain the distinctive responses  of the House and Senate to the  post-WWII world and discuss the implications these developments have for the operation of Congress as a powerful policy-making institution today.
          (3)If we were to see the House as composed of ‘goal-seeking’ legis-lators (responding in their goals to the structured hierarchy of power within the House) legislators and the Senate as composed of ‘goal-adapting’ legislators (responding in their goals to the fluctuating opportunities afforded them by service in the fluid Senate) how might such a perspective generate systematically different arguments, hypotheses and research designs for the House and Senate, and how might such designs yield cross-chamber comparative research?
 
Week Five: Constituencies, Representation and Elections
       
I. General Perspectives
        
         ***Jacobson, The Politics of Congressional Elections:  all

            *Jacobson, “Parties and PACs in Congressional Elections,” in CR IV and “The
Misallocation of Resources in House Campaigns,” in RC V.

         ***Congress Reconsidered VIII, Chapter 4: Erikson and Wright, “Voters, Candidates, and Issues in Congressional
Elections” Chapter 5: Paul S. Herrnson, “Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act…”

**Stewart, Analyzing Congress, Chapters 4, 5, 6

II. Constituency Characteristics and Elections

a.    The Marginality puzzle is interesting both substantively, in terms of what it
      says about Congress and elections, and analytically as an example of the
      development of a research program in political science.

                 ***Everyone should read/review the original article by Mayhew in Polity Vol 6
                       (1974), #3,  which is reprinted in Parker, Studies. Everyone should also
                       read/review Part I of Fiorina, Congress: Keystone of the Washington
                       Establishment, 1989.

    Recommended: To appreciate the development of the work on marginality, now
    or in preparation for prelims, read as follows: Part I in Parker, Studies, including
    the introductory comments by Parker and the articles by Mayhew, Bullock/
    Scicchitano, Ferejohn and Fiorina. Then review Fiorina, Congress: Keystone of
    The Washington Establishment, 1989, Part I (assigned in the Scope and
    Epistemologies course; this is a reprint of his 1977 book). Then read Cover and
    Mayhew, “Congressional Dynamics and the Decline of Competitive
    Congressional Elections,” in CRII. Then read Cain, et.al., The Personal Vote:
    Constituency Service and Electoral Independence, 1987, Chapters 7-9
    (remainder recommended). Then read Fiorina, Congress: Keystone..., 1989, Part

    Finally, read:

***Fiorina, “Keystone Reconsidered,” in Congress Reconsidered VIII.

**Alford and Brady, “Personal and Partisan Advantage in U. S. Congressional
        Elections, 1846-1990, in CR V.

***Review: Dodd, “The Cycles of Legislative Change,” in Weisberg

b.    The Deep Partisanship of Congressional Districts

***Oppenheimer, “Deep Red and Deep Blue Congressional Districts” in CR VIII

c.    District Characteristics and Party Polarization

         ***McCarty, Poole and Rosenthal, Polarized America, Chs 3-5


III. Constituencies, Campaigning and Representation

        ***Fenno, Home Style: all, including the ‘Epilogue’

            *Fenno, Going Home: all

           *Fenno, Senators on the Campaign Trail: all


IV.   Elections, Issue Politics and Representation

***Warren Miller and Donald Stokes, “Constituency Influence in Congress,” APSR, 1963,
and in Parker, Studies.

*Gerald C. Wright, “Elections and the Potential for Policy Change in Congress: The
House of Representatives,” in Wright, et. al., Congress and Policy Change.

**Brady, “Critical Elections, Congressional Parties and Clusters of Policy Changes,”
British Journal of Political Science, 1978; also in Parker, Studies

*Marjorie Hershey, “Campaign Learning, Congressional Behavior, and Policy Change,”
in Wright, Rieselbach and Dodd, Congress and Policy Change, on reserve

***Tracy Sulkin, Issue Politics in Congress: all

Also recommended:

Swain, Black Faces, Black Interests
Jacobson, The Electoral Origins of Divided Government
Fowler and McClure, Political Ambition
Sorauf, Inside Campaign Finance
Jacobson and Kernell, Strategies and Choice in Congressional Elections

 
Week Five Email Assignments.

a.    All Students: Briefly: Based on your reading of Jacobson, Stewart and other readings in Part I, what aspects of congressional campaigns and elections most interest you, why, and with what significance or implications for Congress as an institution and also for congressional research? About one page.
b.    Individual Assignments:
1.    What is Mayhew’s marginality puzzle, how did Fiorina propose solving the puzzle, and how convincing is Fiorina’s argument today?_____Michael______
2.    What is the ‘partisan’ advantage identified by Alford and Brady, how does it apply historically, how/why was it challenged by the personal advantage in post-war America, and how might it apply/not apply today?_____Rob______
3.    How did Dodd incorporate the casework thesis and partisan concerns in “The Cycles of Legislative Change” and how might the cyclical argument apply or not apply today?____Kim________
4.    What was Oppenheimer’s argument in “Deep Red and Deep Blue,” what was his evidence, how convincing does it appear today, and what appear to be the strengths and weaknesses of the argument in retrospect?_____Jordan_______
5.    How do McCarty, Poole and Rosenthal link issues of demographics and congressional elections to explain the polarization of party politics today, and how convincing to you find their argument?______Josh________
6.    What are the characteristics of a member’s Home Style, how does home style affect a members relations with his district and thereby his or her reelection chances, and what are the implications of home style for representation of districts?_______Chris________
7.    How does Fenno characterize the nature of home style among African American legislators and how does it affect their participation in and role in Congress? How convincing do you find his analysis?___Adann______
8.    What is the argument of Miller and Stokes with respect to constituency influence in Congress, how convincing is it, and how applicable would it be today?_____Jackie______
9.    What role does David Brady see critical elections as playing in inducing policy change in Congress, how convincing is his argument, and in what ways would it seem applicable/not applicable today?____Kevin_____
10.    What is Tracy Sulkin’s theory of ‘issue uptake,’ what role does it play in elections and agenda setting, and what is its significance for our understanding the responsiveness of Congress as a representative institution?____Paulina; Donald________
 
Week Six: Parties and Committees

I.    The Post-War Evolution of Parties and Committees

             **Dodd and Schott, Congress and the Administrative State, Chapters 3-5 Review
            or Finish
             **Zelizer, On Capitol Hill – Review or Finish
             **Rohde, Parties and Leaders in the PostReform Congress, Review or Finish
             **Stewart, Analyzing Congress, Chapters 7, 8
               *James MacG. Burns, The Deadlock of Democracy
             **Dodd, “The Expanding Roles of the House Democratic Whip System,” Capitol
            Studies, 1979
             **Dodd, “Coalition-Building by Party Leaders: A Case Study of House
            Democrats,” Congress and the Presidency, Vol 10: #2, 1983.

II.    Party Government in Congress

           ***Cox and McCubbins, The Legislative Leviathan, all
           ***Dodd and Oppenheimer, “Congress and the Emerging Order,” CR VII.
             **Krehbiel, “Where’s the Party?” British Journal of Political Science 23 (1993),
            234-60
           ***Smith and Gamm, “The Dynamics of Party Government in Congress;” “The
            House Leadership in an Era of Partisan Warfare,” by Schickler and
            Kathryn Pearson; and “Obstruction and Leadership in the U.S. Senate,”
            by Evans and Lipinski; all in CR VIII.

III.    Congressional Committees

        ***Deering and Smith, Committees in Congress, all
        ***Aldrich and Rohde, “Congressional Committees in a Partisan Era,” in CR VIII.
        ***Fenno, “The House Appropriations Committee as a Political System: The
        Problem of Integration,” APSR (1962) 56: 310-24
        ***Gordon, “The (Dis)Integration of the House Appropriations Committee:
        Revisiting The Power of the Pursue in a Partisan Era.” In CR VIII.
   
IV.    Committees versus Parties: Who has Influence?

       ***Maltzman, Competing Principals: Committees, Parties and the Organization of
        Congress: all
         **Raven, “Institutional Development in the House of Representatives, 1890-2000”

 

    Email Assignments:
1.    Based on the readings thus far in this course (including those in Part I of the
syllabus, the Deering and Smith book in Part III, and readings in previous weeks), lay out a timeline (with associated triggering events) by which Congress transitioned from the Committee Government era of the early postwar period to the Conditional Party Government of the current period___Josh_____
2. As seen in the two essays on the whip system by Dodd, how was party leadership in policy-making and vote-gathering changing in the 1970s?_____Kim_____
2.    What is the core argument (about parties as cartels in Congress) in Legislative
Leviathan and what are its implications for how we would understand Congress were
it true? What are its strengths and weaknesses?___Paulina_________
3. What is the argument of Dodd and Schott in “Congress and the Emerging Order” with respect to cooperative partisanship, what are the implications of this argument for parties’ electoral, organizational, policy-making and governing strategies, and how might such implications be explored in empirical research?____Jordon____
4. How do the authors in Congress Reconsidered (Smith and Gamm, Schickler and Pearson, Evans and Lipiski) describe party leadership in the House and Senate today, as distinct from earlier period?___Adann______
5. What was Fenno’s argument in his 1962 APSR article and how well or badly does his argument now apply to the Appropriations Committee, based on Gordon’s analysis? What are the implications of Gordon’s analysis for the committee and Congress?___Chris____
6. How and why do Smith and Deering see committees operating differently in the PostReform period from earlier decades?___ Jackie; Michael______
7. Outline the three models of committee performance discussed by Maltzman, explain how and why the models vary across time in their relevance to Congress, and discuss the model most appropriate to the postreform Congress.____Kevin;Donald____
8. How does Raven explain congressional development across the 20th/21st century and what is the relevance of his argument to our understanding of Congress today?___Rob_____

 

Week Seven: Goals, Careers, Groups and Institutional Politics

I. General Perspectives and Classic Theoretical Statements

             *Rieselbach, Congressional Politics, pp. 64-73

         ***David Price, The Congressional Experience: all, at bookstore

         ***Fenno, Congressmen in Committees, Introduction and Chapter One; on reserve

         ***David Rohde, “Risk-Bearing and Progressive Ambition: The Case of Members of
the U. S. House of Representatives,” American Journal of Political Science
(AJPS) Vol 23, #1.

          **Heinz Eulau, et. al., “The Role of the Representative: Some Empirical Observations on
the Theory of Edmund Burke,” APSR Vol 53, 1959; also recommended, Roger
Davidson, The Role of the Congressman, 1969.

II. Historical Perspectives

*Swift, “The Electoral Connection Meets the Past: Lessons from Congressional History,
1789-1899,” Political Science Quarterly, Winter, 1987.

**Polsby, et.al., “The Growth of the Seniority System in the U. S. House of
Representatives,”APSR 1969.

*H. Douglas Price, “The Congressional Career—Then and Now,” 14-27 in Polsby, ed.,
Congressional Behavior.

*Price, “Careerism and Committees in the American Congress: The Problem of
Structural Change,” in Aydelotte, ed., The History of Parliamentary Behavior.

III.     Contemporary Developments and Research

**John F. Manley, “Wilbur D. Mills: A Study in Congressional Influence,” APSR 63
(1969): 442-64; and Randall Strahan, “Dan Rostenkowski: A Study in
Congressional Power,” in CR V.

***John Hibbing, Congressional Careers. Read Chapters 1, 8 and at least two of the following chapters, based on your personal interests:

        Ch 2: The Electoral Career
        Ch 3: The Formal Position
        Ch 4: The Roll Call Career
        Ch 5 The Legislative Activity Career
        Ch 6. The District Activity Career
        Ch 7. The Integrated Congressional Career
       
*Cooper and West, “The Congressional Career in the 1970s,” in CR II

*Charles Bullock and Burdette Loomis, “The Changing Congressional Career” in CR III

*Fenno, Senators on the Campaign Trail,  Intro, Chs 1,2,7,8, Conclusion; the
rest recommended

*Fenno, Adjusting to the U. S. Senate,” in Wright, et. al., Congress and Policy Change.

*Canon, “Political Amateurism in the U. S. Congress,” in CR IV

*Hibbing, “Careerism in Congress: For Better or For Worse?” in CR V

          **Cooperman and Oppenheimer, “The Gender Gap in the House of Representatives,” CR
VII; review Swain, “Women and Blacks in Congress: 1870-1996,” in CR VI

IV.     Interpersonal Behavior, Groups and Norms Among Members

***Matthews, “The Folkways of the Senate,” in U. S. Senators
and Their World; also in APSR 53 (1959). Read or Review

***Asher, “The Learning of Legislative Norms,” APSR, 1973 67: 499-513. Read or Review

**Hall,  “Participation, Abdication, and Representation in Congressional Committees, in
CR V.

*Hawkesworth, “Congressional Enactments of Race-Gender: Toward A Theory of Raced-
Gendered Institutions,” American Political Science Review 97 (2003): 529-550.
Read or Review

***Lynn Kathlene, “Power and Influence in State Legislative Policymaking,” APSR,
Vol., 88, #3, September 1994, pp. 560-576.

**Hammond, “Congressional Caucuses in the Policy Process,” in CR IV.

***Dodd and Schraufnagel, “Legislative Conflict and Policy Productivity:    The Role of
Member Incivility and Party Polarization in the Enactment of Landmark Legislation, 1891-1994--Based on Evidence from the New York Times and
Washington Post” 2007 APSA Paper.

V.  Theoretical Perspectives: Member Goals, Organizational Structure and Policy Processes Across Time

***Dodd, “A Theory of Congressional Cycles,” in Wright, Rieselbach and Dodd,
Congress and Policy Change.

*Glenn Parker, Institutional Change, Discretion, and the Making of Modern Congress   
 
Email Assignments for Week Seven:

1.    Based on the readings from this and prior weeks, imagine you were going to do a research paper on the changing nature of the congressional career from 1945 to the present. In what ways and why would you expect careers to be the same in the past decade or so as they were in the early postwar decades, in what ways and why would you expect careers to be different, what would be the overall significance of the resulting patterns of congressional careers, and how would you test for these arguments?_____Chris; Jackie; Kevin_________________
2.    In what organizational, normative and behavioral ways has the coming of (some degree of) racial, ethnic and gender diversity altered the House of Representatives, how might such alterations continue into the future, and how could you test your arguments?_____Rob, Paulina, Adann________
3.    What is the argument presented by Dodd and Schraufnagel with respect to the changing role of norms in the Congress, how does their argument inform our understanding of committee vs party government in Congress, why do they see changing norms affecting policy productivity, and what critique would you offer of their argument?_____Josh; Donald______
4.    In what ways does Dodd’s argument about “A Theory of Congressional Cycles” in the Wright, et. al. volume differ from his argument about “Cycles of Legislative Change” in the Weisberg volume, what are the implications of his argument for how one explains policy change in Congress, and what critique would you make of his argument?_____Kim; Jordan; Michael_______

 
Week Eight: The Contemporary Legislative Process
       
I.     General Overview

*Rieselbach, Congressional Politics, Chapters 8-13

***Barbara Sinclair, Unorthodox Lawmaking: all

***Stewart, Analyzing Congress, Chapter 9.

II. Generating and shaping legislation:
     
*Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policy, Chapters 1, 7,8   

*Berkman, The State Roots of National Politics, Chapters 1,2, 6, 7

*Douglas Arnold, The Logic of Congressional Action: Chapters 1-6

***Congress Reconsidered VIII, Chapters 13, 14, 15

III. Operating according to the legislative rules of the game:

*Rieselbach, Congressional Politics, Chapters 5 and 6

*Walter Oleszek, Congressional Procedures and the Policy Process

*Steven S. Smith, Call to Order: all

*Binder, “The Partisan Basis of Procedural Choice: Allocating Parliamentary Rights in
the House, 1789-1991,” APSR 90 (1996): 8-20.

*Congress Reconsidered: Fifth Edition: Chapters 9 and 13; Fourth edition: Chapters 10
and 13 Third Edition: Chapters 14 and 17; Second Edition, Chapter 12; First
Edition: Chapter 5*

IV.     Operating within a separation of powers system

*Mathew Shugart and John Carey, Presidents and Assemblies: Constitutional Design and
        Electoral Dynamics, Chapters 1 and 7; all is recommended

*Jon Bond and Richard Fleisher, The President in the Legislative Arena

*Dodd and Schott, Congress and the Administrative State, Chapters 4-8; see also Joel
Aberbach, Keeping a Watchful Eye (On Congress and the bureaucracy)

*Robert Scigliano, The Supreme Court and the Presidency (which presents an argument
of an inherent alliance of these two institutions against Congress).

*The Encyclopedia of the U. S. Congress, pages 1185-1204, on Congress and the Federal
Judiciary.

*Mayhew, Divided We Govern

*Bessette, The Mild Voice of Reason, Chapters 4- 8

3. Case studies:

***Fenno, Congressmen in Committees, Chapter Six and Epilogue
                
*Carmines and Stimson, Issue Evolution: Race and the Transformation of American
Politics: all

Polsby, Political Innovation in America

Special Email Assignment: Early Research Thought Paper: Write a short 1 to 2 page thought paper on the topic you expect to develop as your research paper for this class. Lay out the puzzle you are thinking about analyzing, why you’ve chosen it, how you might go about the theorizing and research, and what you hope to find.

Weekly Email Assignment:

(1)     What does Sinclair mean by Unorthodox Lawmaking, why has it arisen, and what is its signficance for Congress and for public policy?¬¬¬¬____Kim; Adann_______
(2)     According to Stewart, why do bills not become law and what does this analysis tell us about Congress as a deliberative and representative institution?____Rob_____
(3)     According to Stewart, how do bills occasionally become law and why is understanding the factors involved important for understanding Congress as a deliberative and representative institution?______Kevin_____
(4)     According to Stewart, how can roll call votes be used usefully to analyze the individual and collective preferences of members, and to what effect?________Michael; Paulina________
(5)     What are the dynamics driving Congressional involvement in judicial appointments and what implications do these dynamics have for national policymaking, as seen in the analysis of Binder and Maltzman?______Donald________
(6)     How has taxing and spending policy making evolved in the current period of CPG and what challenges does this evolution posed for Congress and its powers, as seen in Rudder’s analysis?_____Chris______
(7)     How has Congress responded as a policy maker to the age of terrorism, according to Wolfensberger, and what are the implications for its institutional role and relevance?_____Jackie______
(8)     Describe the differential roles played by different committees in House policymaking, as detailed by Fenno in Chapters 2-4 and 6 of Congressmen in Committees, explain why he sees the differences he sees, and assess the probable relevance of his analysis to the contemporary Congress.___Josh_____
(9)     Describe the ways in which Senate Committees difference in their policy role from House Committees, in Chapter 5 and 6 of Congressmen in Committees, explain why he sees the similarities and differences he sees, and assess the probable relevance of his analysis to the contemporary Congress.______Jordan______
.


Week Nine: Enacting Public Policy

*Rieselbach, Congressional Politics, Chapters 7,8

*Julius Turner, Party and Constitutency: Pressures on Congress, revised edition by
Edward V. Schneier, Jr., Preface, Acknowledgements, Chapters 1,2,8 and Epilogue; look
at the remainder if time and interest. On reserve
         
*Aage Clausen, How Congressmen Decide:

*John Kingdon, “Models of Legislative Voting,” Journal of Politics, 1977

*Cooper and Young, “Partisanship, Bipartisanship, and Crosspartisanship in Congress
Since the New Deal,” in CR VI.

***Brady/Volden, Revolving Gridlock: all. Eventually read also Krehbiel, Pivotal Politics,

***McCarty, Pool and Rosenthal, Polarized America, Chapters 6,7

***Diana Owens, Greasing the Wheels

***Sarah Binder, Stalemate

Email Assignments:

1.    What is the theory of institutional gridlock developed by Brady and Volden and how does this theory explain public policy developments in the contemporary Congress?____Chris; Jackie; Rob__________
2.    How do McCarty et. al. see party polarization affecting public policy in contemporary America and what are the implications of their analysis for how substantial change in our current policy outcomes can be best generated?____Michael; Paulina_____
3.    What is pork barrel politics, how does Evans see it affecting the enactment of general-interest policies, and in what ways is it similar/dissimilar in the House and Senate?_____Kim;_Donald______
4.    According to Binder in Stalemate, when does stalemate exist in congressional policy-making, why does it exist, and how convincing do you find her analysis?___Kevin; Adann____
5.    In Stalemate, Binder seeks to explain why some Congresses pass a higher proportion of ‘salient’ legislation than do other Congresses. One thing she does not look at is whether successful efforts to enact salient legislation look different from unsuccessful efforts. That is, she fails to consider whether the character of the support coalitions and leadership efforts in successful cases differs in identifiable ways from the character of such efforts in unsuccessful cases – even within the same Congress. Possibly the causes of stalemate have less to do with general factors like divided government, etc., than with variation in the success of leaders/policy entreprenuers in generating certain types of policy coalitions. How might you go about examining this issue, starting with Binder’s data and analysis?_____Jordan_______Consider the same question, but in terms of whether the success of legislation has to do with the character of policy opposition.____Josh_

Weeks Ten to Fifteen: Research on Congress

During these five weeks each student will conduct a personal research project on an aspect of Congress that interests him or her. Additionally, during this period we will meet each week except for week ten to discuss your research designs and research progress, to meet with other faculty on their research, and to discuss your research findings at the end of the semester.