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Book Cover
Author Adler, E. Scott, author

Title Congress and the politics of problem solving / E. Scott Adler, John D. Wilkerson
Published Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2012
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Description 1 online resource (262 pages)
Contents Cover; Congress and the Politics of Problem Solving; Title; Copyright; Contents; Tables and Figures; Preface; Part I: 1. Congress and the politics of problem solving; the politics of problem solving; implications for legislative studies; Scarcity, agendas, and issue priorities; The dynamics of issue attention and policy change; Problem solving and partisan politics; Data sources; Overview of the book; 2. Problem-focused voters and congressional accountability; Where's congress in prior congressional elections research?; Is congressional approval related to congressional performance?
Congress and the Politics of Problem Solving: Lawmakers' perceptions of the linkage between problem solving and vote choice; Conclusion; 3. Congressional approval and incumbent accountability; A theory of congressional performance accountability; Testing the congressional performance hypothesis; Congressional approval and incumbent support among individual voters; Voter effects; National conditions; Candidate and district effects; Findings for individual voters and incumbent support; Accountability at the district level (1974-2010); District and candidate effects; National conditions
Findings for district-level incumbent support accountability under divided and unified governments; Accountability and the incumbent's probability of reelection; Accountability and strategic decisions to retire; Findings for strategic retirements; Conclusion; Part II: 4. Problem-solving constraints and legislative institutions; Agenda scarity; The "Problem-solving paradox"; The limited contributions of committees in contemporary legislative theories; Legislative institutions and problem-solving constraints; Agenda scarcity and committee division of labor
Initial evidence of temporary authorizations as commitments to problem solving; The recurring agenda of the modern Congress; Conclusion; Part III: 6. Rethinking committee reform; Prior perspectives on committee jurisdictional reform; The Bolling-Hansen committee reforms; The consequences of reform for issue control in the House of Representatives; Testing alternative motivations for reform; Policy coordination; Committee competition; Constituency interest; Lawmaker interest; Data and findings; Multivariate regression analysis; The broader consequences of the Bolling-Hansen committee reforms; Conclusion
Specialization and Committee JurisdictionsIndividual Shirking and Committee Hierarchies: Problem-solving priorities: Compulsory versus discretionary Issue agendas; Summary; 5. Agenda scarcity, problem solving, and temporary legislation; Scope and history of temporary legislation; History of temporary legislation; Explanations for temporary legislation; Leverage over appropriations; Rent-extraction; Promoting agency accountability; Policy updating; Problem solving, agenda scarcity, and temporary legislation; Agenda scarcity and problem solving
Summary "Congress and the Politics of Problem Solving shows how a simple premise -- voters are willing to hold lawmakers accountable for their collective problem-solving abilities -- can produce novel insights into legislative organization, behavior, and output. 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? Knowing that their prospects for reelection are partly dependent on their collective problem-solving abilities, lawmakers support structures that enhance the legislature's capacity to address problems in society and encourage members to contribute to nonparticularistic policy-making activities. The resulting insights are novel and substantial: Congress' collective performance affects the reelection prospects of incumbents of both parties; the legislative issue agenda can often be predicted years in advance; nearly all important successful legislation originates in committee; most laws pass with bipartisan support; and electorally induced shifts in preferences or partisan control are not robust predictors of policy change. The electoral imperative to address problems in society provides a compelling explanation for these important and provocative findings"-- provided by publisher
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject United States. Congress.
Decision making -- Political aspects -- United States.
Legislation -- Political aspects -- United States.
Form Electronic book
Author Wilkerson, John D., 1939- author
ISBN 1139150847 (electronic bk.)
1139612514 (electronic bk.)
1139625535 (electronic bk.)
129927644X (ebk)
9781139150842 (electronic bk.)
9781139612517 (electronic bk.)
9781139625531 (electronic bk.)
9781299276444 (ebk)