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Other titles in the American Politics & Political Economy series:

Parties and Leaders in the Postreform House (American Politics & Political Economy)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Since the Second World War, congressional parties have been characterized as declining in strength and influence. Research has generally attributed this decline to policy conflicts within parties, to growing electoral independence of members, and to the impact of the congressional reforms of the 1970s. Yet the 1980s witnessed a strong resurgence of parties and party leadership—especially in the House of Representatives.

Offering a concise and compelling explanation of the causes of this resurgence, David W. Rohde argues that a realignment of electoral forces led to a reduction of sectional divisions within the parties—particularly between the northern and southern Democrats—and to increased divergence between the parties on many important issues. He challenges previous findings by asserting that congressional reform contributed to, rather than restrained, the increase of partisanship. Among the Democrats, reforms siphoned power away from conservative and autocratic committee chairs and put control of those committees in the hands of Democratic committee caucuses, strengthening party leaders and making both party and committee leaders responsible to rank-and-file Democrats. Electoral changes increased the homogeneity of House Democrats while institutional reforms reduced the influence of dissident members on a consensus in the majority party. Rohde's accessible analysis provides a detailed discussion of the goals of the congressional reformers, the increased consensus among Democrats and its reinforcement by their caucus, the Democratic leadership's use of expanded powers to shape the legislative agenda, and the responses of House Republicans. He also addresses the changes in the relationship between the House majority and the president during the Carter and Reagan administrations and analyzes the legislative consequences of the partisan resurgence.

A readable, systematic synthesis of the many complex factors that fueled the recent resurgence of partisanship, Parties and Leaders in the Postreform House is ideal for course use.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 213-224) and index.

About the Author

David Rohde, professor of political science at Michigan State University, is past editor of American Journal of Political Science, and has coauthored the Congressional Quarterly Press's series of analyses of the presidential and congressional elections.

Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

1. Parties in the House of Representatives

Parties in the House before Reform

The Decline in Party Voting

The Reform Era and Its Consequences

Partisanship in the House: Decline and Resurgence

2. Reform and Its Consequences: A Closer Look

The Motivations for House Reform

Three Tracks of Reform

House Reform and Member Goals

The Gradual Impact of Reform

3. The Democratic Caucus: Membership Change and Organizational Developments

Some Perspectives on Roll-Call Voting

Variations in Homogeneity among House Democrats

Some Specific Issue Perspectives

The Changing Role of the Democratic Caucus

The Democratic Caucus and Collective Control

4. The Democratic Leadership: Party Agents and Agenda Management

The Evolution of Leadership Activities

Employing the Fruits of Reform: The Leadership and Agenda Management

Leadership at Full Tide: The Wright Speakership

Some Conclusions

5. Republican Reactions, Presidential Agendas, and Legislative Consequences

House Republicans

Presidents and Partisanship

Some Legislative Consequences

Summary

6. Conclusions and Future Prospects

Theory and Evidence: A Summary

Changing Perspectives on Politics in the House

Future Prospects

Conclusion

Notes

References

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226724072
Author:
Rohde, David W.
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Location:
Chicago :
Subject:
Leadership
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Congress
Subject:
Political Parties
Subject:
United States Politics and government 20th century.
Subject:
Government - Legislative Branch
Subject:
Political parties -- United States.
Subject:
United States Politics and government.
Subject:
Politics-United States Politics
Edition Description:
1
Series:
American Politics and Political Economy Series
Series Volume:
9367
Publication Date:
19910831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
21 line drawings, 12 tables
Pages:
239
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » US History » Contemporary
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Evolution

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