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Congress Reconsidered

Congress Reconsidered

Twelfth Edition
Edited by:

December 2020 | 544 pages | CQ Press
Since its first edition, Congress Reconsidered was designed to make available the best contemporary work from leading congressional scholars in a form that is both challenging and accessible to undergraduates.
With their Twelfth Edition, Lawrence C. Dodd, Bruce I. Oppenheimer, and C. Lawrence Evans continue this tradition as their contributors focus on how various aspects of Congress have changed over time: C. Lawrence Evans partners with Wendy Schiller to discuss the U.S. Senate and the meaning of dysfunction; Molly E. Reynolds analyzes the politics of the budget and appropriations process in a polarized Congress; and Danielle M. Thomsen looks at the role of women and voter preferences in the 2018 elections. With a strong new focus on political polarization, this bestselling volume remains on the cutting edge with key insights into the workings of Congress.

Tables and Figures
Part I: Patterns and Dynamics of Congressional Change
C. Lawrence Evans and Wendy J. Schiller
Chapter 1: The U.S. Senate and the Meaning of Dysfunction
John H. Aldrich and David W. Rohde
Chapter 2: Lending and Reclaiming Power: Majority Leadership in the House From the 1950s to Trump
Part II: Elections, Constituencies, and Representation
Robert S. Erikson and Gerald C. Wright
Chapter 3: Voters, Candidates, Parties, and Issues in Congressional Elections
Gary C. Jacobson
Chapter 4: Partisanship, Money, and Competition: Elections and the Transformation of Congress Since the 1970s
Danielle M. Thomsen
Chapter 5: Women Running, Women Winning: Voter Preferences in 2018
Robert R. Preuhs and Rodney E. Hero
Chapter 6: Black-Latino Relations in Congress: Examining Institutional Context and Inter-Minority Group Relations Further
Part III: Parties and Polarization
Steven S. Smith and Gerald Gamm
Chapter 7: The Dynamics of Party Government in Congress
Ruth Bloch Rubin
Chapter 8: House Parties, Divided: Intraparty Organization in the Contemporary Congress
Sarah Binder
Chapter 9: The Struggle to Legislate in Polarized Times
Gregory Koger
Chapter 10: The War Over Judges in the Senate
Part IV: Congress and the Policy Process
James M. Curry and Frances E. Lee
Chapter 11: Enduring Continuities in Congressional Lawmaking
Tracy Sulkin
Chapter 12: Legislative Styles and the Dynamics of Congressional Behavior
Molly E. Reynolds
Chapter 13: The Politics of the Budget and Appropriations Process in a Polarized Congress
Craig Volden and Alan E. Wiseman
Chapter 14: Party, Ideology, and Legislative Effectiveness in the U.S. Senate
Part V: Congress in a Separation of Powers System
Douglas L. Kriner and Eric Schickler
Chapter 15: Congressional Investigations in a Polarized Era Or Has Polarization (and Trump?) Broken the Investigative Check?
Nolan McCarty
Chapter 16: How Congressional Polarization Is Transforming the Separation of Powers
Lawrence C. Dodd and Bruce I. Oppenheimer
Chapter 17: The 2020 Congressional Elections In a Time of COVID-19, Economic Turmoil, and Trump
Suggested Readings
Key features
  • New generations of scholars who are now doing research on Congress offer a more contemporary perspective on Congress, and a fresher and more diverse perspective on the developments of the post-9/11 and post-Obama period of our national politics.
  • New chapter by Lawrence C. Dodd and Bruce I. Oppenheimer on the 2020 congressional elections in a time of Covid-19, economic turmoil, and Trump.
  • An increased diversification in authorship, such as more women and ethnic/political diversity, greatly broadens the material in the book and its relevance to diverse constituencies.
  • Many of the chapters in this edition share a focus on polarization in Congress—its link to representation, constituencies, and elections; its effects on internal workings within the House and Senate; the impact it has on the production of legislation and as a major source of gridlock; and the consequences for inter-institutional relationships, democratic principles, and congressional effectiveness.
  • Two opening chapters on the Senate and House of Representatives, provide a concise and stimulating overview of the two houses of Congresses and the ways they have changed since the post-World War II Era.

  • Each chapter opens with an abstract that summarizes the arguments of the chapter and highlights the chapter's implications for understanding Congress.

  • The book closes with a comprehensive Suggested Readings list: a go-to bibliographical reference for all students of Congress.

  • The book contains a rich variety of statistical information combined with close attention to historical processes and real-world illustrations of congressional politics.

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