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Day 4 - The Professionalization and Institutionalization of Congress
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Day 4 - The Professionalization and Institutionalization of Congress

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Please contact me at lee.hannah@psu.edu for original files.

Please contact me at lee.hannah@psu.edu for original files.


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  • 1. Day 4 – The Professionalization of Congress July 1, 2013
  • 2. Edmund Burke in the News  “Edmund Burke Has a Lot to Teach Today’s Conservatives”  http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ej-dionne- edmund-burke-has-a-lot-to-teach-todays- conservatives/2013/06/30/10f8c95c-e1b5-11e2- a11e-c2ea876a8f30_story.html
  • 3. Institutionalized Organizations  Three major characteristics:  Well-bounded  Example?  Relatively Complex  Example?  Use of universalistic rather than particularistic criteria  Example?
  • 4. Well-Bounded What argument is Polsby supporting with this graph? The “Graying Congress” - http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/info- CONGRESS_AGES_1009.html
  • 5. Relative Complexity  How does the early Congress make decisions/divide the labor of law making?  http://www.house.gov/committees/  http://www.govtrack.us/congress/committees/  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_United_S tates_House_of_Representatives_committees
  • 6. Universalistic Criteria  What argument is Polsby supporting with this graph?
  • 7. Are these patterns still supported?  The GOP’s “Young Guns”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedde d&v=2GXMqSLpOJQ  DOL (p.34) – House reforms in the 1970s  The “Republican Revolution” in 1994.  In spite of efforts like the “Young Guns” and reforms in the House, seniority is still a powerful force.  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527487044057 04576063940105791446.html
  • 8. Evolution of a Legislator’s Job  What mechanisms drive the increase of careerism in the U.S. Congress?  Increase in one-party states and districts (following what events?)  Growth of national government  Increased prestige with the position  Benefits of seniority
  • 9. Tonight’s Reading  “The League of Dangerous Mapmakers” by Robert Draper.
  • 10. In Class Response Essay  In roughly one handwritten page, answer the following question. You can use your notes to answer the question.  Both the text (DOL pp.28-40) and Polsby (1968) discuss the increasing “institutionalization” of Congress. Many argue that institutionalization is bad for the country and is the reason why Congress is ineffective. This has led to a number citizens and groups to advocate imposing term- limits on members of Congress (e.g. establishing a maximum number of terms they can serve). Would you support a constitutional amendment that imposed term- limits on members of the House of Representatives? Why yes or no? Use the course material to support your argument. 