Congress and the Politics of Problem Solving
How do issues end up on the agenda? Why do lawmakers routinely invest in program oversight and broad policy development? What considerations drive legislative policy change? For many, Congress is an institution consumed by partisan bickering and gridlock. Yet the institution's long history of addressing significant societal problems - even in recent years - seems to contradict this view. Congress and the Politics of Problem Solving argues that the willingness of many voters to hold elected officials accountable for societal conditions is central to appreciating why Congress responds to problems despite the many reasons mustered for why it cannot. The authors show that, across decades of policy making, problem-solving motivations explain why bipartisanship is a common pattern of congressional behavior and offer the best explanation for legislative issue attention and policy change.
- Electronic book text
- 05 Jan 2013
- CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
- Cambridge, United Kingdom
- 20 b/w illus. 38 tables
'In the end, I hope and expect that Adler and Wilkerson's challenging study will be widely read. A book that forces us to think hard about how we approach the study of Congress does not come along very often.' Paul J. Quirk, Congress and the Presidency
Table of contents
Part I: 1. Congress and the politics of problem solving; 2. Problem-focused voters and congressional accountability; 3. Congressional approval and incumbent accountability; Part II: 4. Problem-solving constraints and legislative institutions; 5. Agenda scarcity, problem solving, and temporary legislation; Part III: 6. Rethinking committee reform; 7. Agenda setting in a problem-solving legislature; Part IV: 8. Problem solving and policy focal points; 9. Problem solving and policy change; 10. Problem solving and American politics.