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Minority Rights, Majority Rule : Partisanship and the Development of Congress - Sarah A. Binder

Minority Rights, Majority Rule

Partisanship and the Development of Congress

Paperback Published: 10th November 1997
ISBN: 9780521587921
Number Of Pages: 256

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Minority Rights, Majority Rule seeks to explain a phenomenon evident to most observers of the U.S. Congress. In the House of Representatives, majority parties rule and minorities are seldom able to influence national policy making. In the Senate, minorities quite often call the shots, empowered by the filibuster to frustrate the majority. Why did the two chambers develop such distinctive legislative styles? Conventional wisdom suggests that differences in the size and workload of the House and Senate led the two chambers to develop very different rules of procedure. Binder offers an alternative, partisan theory to explain the creation and suppression of minority rights, showing that contests between partisan coalitions have throughout congressional history altered the distribution of procedural rights. Most importantly, new majorities inherit procedural choices made in the past. This institutional dynamic has fueled the power of partisan majorities in the House but stopped them in their tracks in the Senate.

"This is an extremely interesting book and one in which the author makes a convincing case for her various positions. It will I am sure, be accepted for a long time as an important contribution to the history of the U.S. Congress, to the study of American Congressional Politics, and to our understanding of institutionalization processes in the United States." Allen G. Bogue, H-Net Reviews "Binder's use of history makes the development of minority party rights come alive." Alison D. Howard, LSS Newsletter "In an age when partisan politics and congressional gridlock are under attack, Sarah A. Binder's stufy of procedural change in the House of Representatives and the Senate is most timely. Political historians will find this succinct, never overstated study valuable. Scrupulously documented, it is based on a thorough study of congressional sources such as the Congressional Globe and the Congressional Record, as well as works in political science." Donald B. Cole, The Journal of American History

The partisan basis of procedural choice
The evolving concepts of house and Senate minority rights
Procedural choice in the early congress: the case of the Previous Question
Allocating minority rights in the house, 1789-1990
Institutionalizing party in the nineteenth century house
Stacking the partisan decks in the twentieth century house
Inherited rules and procedural choice in the Senate
Assessing the partisan theory
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521587921
ISBN-10: 0521587921
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 10th November 1997
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.89 x 15.39  x 1.75
Weight (kg): 0.36