Congress and the Politics of Problem Solving

ISBN-10: 1107670314
ISBN-13: 9781107670310
Edition: 2012
List price: $21.99 Buy it from $9.93
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Description: How do issues end up on the agenda? Why do lawmakers routinely invest in program oversight and broad policy development? What considerations drive legislative policy change? For many, Congress is an institution consumed by partisan bickering and  More...

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Book details

List price: $21.99
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 1/14/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 262
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 1.034
Language: English

How do issues end up on the agenda? Why do lawmakers routinely invest in program oversight and broad policy development? What considerations drive legislative policy change? For many, Congress is an institution consumed by partisan bickering and gridlock. Yet the institution's long history of addressing significant societal problems – even in recent years – seems to contradict this view. Congress and the Politics of Problem Solving argues that the willingness of many voters to hold elected officials accountable for societal conditions is central to appreciating why Congress responds to problems despite the many reasons mustered for why it cannot. The authors show that, across decades of policy making, problem-solving motivations explain why bipartisanship is a common pattern of congressional behavior and offer the best explanation for legislative issue attention and policy change.

John Wilkerson is the Director of the Center for American Politics and Public Policy at the University of Washington. He is a principal investigator of the Congressional Bills Project, the Policy Agendas Project and the Comparative Agendas Project. His research has been published by leading scholarly journals including the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics and Legislative Studies Quarterly. He teaches American politics and created the award-winning online congressional simulation, LegSim. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in 1991.

Part I
Congress and the politics of problem solving
Problem-focused voters and congressional accountability
Congressional approval and incumbent accountability
Problem-solving constraints and legislative institutions
Agenda scarcity, problem solving, and temporary legislation
Rethinking committee reform
Agenda setting in a problem-solving legislature
Problem solving and policy focal points
Problem solving and policy change
Problem solving and American politics

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