Day 1 - Introduction to PLSC403 - The Legislative Process
Day 1 – Introduction to the
June 26, 2013
Is the current climate in Congress
affecting who runs?
• (5:00 – 10:45)
Constituency Influence In Congress
(Miller and Stokes 1963)
• Key research question: How much influence do
constituents have on their Congressmen’s
• In particular, do legislators respond similarly in
each situation or do they respond differently on
▫ What dimensions do they examine?
Three Models of Representation
• Constituency Control
▫ Legislator votes according to wishes of
• Responsible Parties Hypothesis
▫ Legislator votes in line with national party
• Trustee model
▫ Legislator votes according to their own judgment.
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
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.