Personal Roots of Representation

ISBN-10: 0691134596
ISBN-13: 9780691134598
Edition: 2007
Authors: Barry C. Burden
List price: $38.95
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Description: Despite heightened partisanship in the U.S. Congress and constituencies split along ideological lines, congressional representatives frequently buck their parties and seldom do precisely what voters ask. InPersonal Roots of Representation, Barry  More...

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Book details

List price: $38.95
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 8/5/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 192
Size: 5.50" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.638
Language: English

Despite heightened partisanship in the U.S. Congress and constituencies split along ideological lines, congressional representatives frequently buck their parties and seldom do precisely what voters ask. InPersonal Roots of Representation, Barry Burden challenges standard explanations of legislative preferences to emphasize the important role that personal influences play in representatives' voting behavior. This timely book is the first to examine the extent to which the very same values, experiences, and interests that shape congressional members as individuals and guide their own life choices similarly shape their policymaking decisions. Burden takes a close look at legislative decision making in the areas of tobacco regulation, vouchers and school choice, and religion and bioethics. He finds that personal factors become more significant when legislators are acting proactively rather than reactively, grappling with specific policy issues, and defending rather than challenging the status quo. Marshaling both qualitative and quantitative evidence, Burden reveals that the personal roots of representatives' actions can be as influential as the usual suspects of partisanship and constituency--and that personal factors quite often have the greatest impact when the policymaking stakes are at their highest. Personal Roots of Representationis a provocative book that raises pressing new questions about legislative discretion and the accountability of our elected officials.

List of Figures and Tables
Acknowledgments
Personal Roots of Representation
A Theory of Legislative Preferences
Smoking and Tobacco Regulation
Vouchers and School Choice
Religion and Morality
Conclusion
References
Index

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