Congressional Organization Slides

Congressional Organization Slides - Congressional...

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Congressional Organization and its Consequences: Congressional Committees & “Pivotal Politics”
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Congressional Organization “It it hard -- indeed for the contemporary observer impossible -- to shake the conviction that the House’s institutional structure does not matter greatly in the production of political outcomes.” Nelson W. Polsby (1968)
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Congressional Organization Article I, section 5 of the Constitution says that “each House may determine the rules of its proceedings.” Thus, members of Congress can (must) choose the rules for proposing, debating and voting on legislation. These results will have consequences for policy. Because of this, controversy over policy will come into controversy over organization.
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Today’s Lecture: A Brief Outline How do various rules and institutional structures affect policy outputs from congress? Focusing on a spatial view of preferences and policy. Specific Examples: Committee Organization and its Consequences Theories of Gridlock and Policy Movement
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Spatial Theories of Legislative Politics Basic idea: Each legislator has an “ideal point” -- where she would most like policy to end up. Legislators prefer proposals that would move policy closer to their ideal points. Often, the policy space is treated as one- dimensional. Simpler and generates more stable and simple theoretical predictions. Even going to 2-d makes a lot of things “go crazy” (!)
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Median Voter Theorem (Black, 1948) Setup: Single-dimensional policy space, odd number of legislators. Legislators have ideal points ordered from liberal to conservative. Any legislator can offer an amendment to move policy Outcome: Policy moves to the median legislator’s ideal point. Liberal <---|-------|-------|-------|-------|----> Conservative 1 2 3 4 5
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Going to Two Dimensions: McKelvey’s “Chaos Theorem”
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Going to Two Dimensions: McKelvey’s “Chaos Theorem”
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Going to Two Dimensions: McKelvey’s “Chaos Theorem”
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Going to Two Dimensions: McKelvey’s “Chaos Theorem”
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Going to Two Dimensions: McKelvey’s “Chaos Theorem”
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Going to Two Dimensions: McKelvey’s “Chaos Theorem”
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Going to Two Dimensions: McKelvey’s “Chaos Theorem”
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Going to Two Dimensions: McKelvey’s “Chaos Theorem”
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Congressional Organization Slides - Congressional...

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