Representation and Institutional Design

Representation and Institutional Design

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Representation and Institutional Design examines how variation in the structures and processes of state legislatures affect how legislators represent their constituents. It examines whether electoral laws, term limits, professionalism, and district size and magnitude affect legislators' electoral vulnerability, ambition, and role orientations, as well as their actions involving symbolic, service and policy representation. This book reveals that legislative staff increases legislators' closeness to their constituents, legislative resources tend to increase symbolic and service representation but do little to help policy representation, and term limits tend to weaken relationships between legislators and constituents. These issues address what has been an enduring question for most nations: how to best represent their citizens and their needs.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 160 pages
  • 157.48 x 228.6 x 20.32mm | 453.59g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739150677
  • 9780739150672

Table of contents

1 Preface 2 Chapter 1: Institutions and Representation 3 Chapter 2: Institutional Effects on the Incumbency Advantage 4 Chapter 3: Institutional Design and Ambition 5 Chapter 4: Institutional Design and Role Orientation 6 Chapter 6: Institutional Designs Effect on Legislators Information and Perceptual Accuracy 7 Chapter 7: Institutional Design Substantive Representation 8 Chapter 8: Conclusion 9 Appendix A: State Legislators and Their Districts 10 Appendix B: Descriptive Statistics of Variables 11 References
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Review quote

In the tradition of Malcolm Jewell and Alan Rosenthal, Rebekah Herrick investigates the complexities of representation at the state legislative level. This is an innovative effort to untangle the effects of various institutional and electoral arrangements on legislative behavior. It is an ambitious study. -- Gary Moncrief, Boise State University Dr. Herrick's book is an important contribution to the discipline's understanding of how representation by state legislators, in its various forms, is influenced by state legislative institutions. We know that the rules and structures of an institution have an impact on individual behavior. Dr. Herrick's study is an excellent empirical test of how the rules and structures actually influence the representative style of legislators. -- Sam Fisher, University of South Alabama This book's focus is solely on US state legislatures. Herrick (Oklahoma State Univ.) begins with a nuanced discussion of how professionalism, election laws, term limits, and district features may affect symbolic representation, service to constituents, and promotion of particular policies. Political ambition may be affected by institutional design and, therefore, may have both direct and indirect impacts on representational style. Models are then tested through a survey of state legislators in 26 states. The survey questionnaire is helpfully included as an appendix. Unfortunately, basic overviews of institutional design features and summaries for each state or groupings of similar states are not included. Instead, the bulk of the book consists of variable descriptions and regression analysis discussion. The robustness of the regression findings are difficult to evaluate because each model includes over 30 independent variables with individual, district, and state-level characteristics. Potentially intriguing findings about legislators' perceptual accuracy and differences in the use of communication tools are somewhat buried within the analysis. The author concludes each results chapter with recommendations on ways to improve democratic representation, which should be viewed as starting points for further research. CHOICE
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About Rebekah L. Herrick

Rebekah L. Herrick is professor of political science at Oklahoma State University.
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