Day 1 - Introduction to PLSC403 - The Legislative Process

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Day 1 - Introduction to PLSC403 - The Legislative Process

  1. 1. Day 1 – Introduction to the Course June 26, 2013
  2. 2. Is the current climate in Congress affecting who runs? • http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3036789/ns/msn bc-morning_joe/vp/52227714#52227714 • (5:00 – 10:45)
  3. 3. Constituency Influence In Congress (Miller and Stokes 1963) • Key research question: How much influence do constituents have on their Congressmen’s behavior? • In particular, do legislators respond similarly in each situation or do they respond differently on different issues? ▫ What dimensions do they examine?
  4. 4. Three Models of Representation • Constituency Control ▫ Legislator votes according to wishes of constituents • Responsible Parties Hypothesis ▫ Legislator votes in line with national party • Trustee model ▫ Legislator votes according to their own judgment.
  5. 5. Questions for Reading • What specific policies do they examine? • What method do they use to gather data? (p.46) • How do they describe electoral behavior? How do they characterize voters? (p.53) • What do they find, in particular, do they find support for constituency influence, responsible parties, or the trustee model? Does this vary by policy issue?
  6. 6. Model From Miller and Stokes (1963) p.50 The constituency can influence the decisions of the representative in two ways: 1) The legislator, is so similar to his constituents’ that in following his own convictions he does his constituent’s will. 2) Legislator follows her perceptions of district attitude in order to win re-election.

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