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Legislatures: Comparative Perspectives on Representative Assemblies

Loewenberg, Gerhard and Squire, Peverill and Kiewiet, D. Roderick (2002) Legislatures: Comparative Perspectives on Representative Assemblies. University of Michigan Press , Ann Arbor, MI. ISBN 9780472097906.

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The purpose of this book is to bridge the gap between the large, systematic body of scholarship on the U.S. Congress and the significant though more scattered scholarship on legislatures outside the United States. Although there is no single paradigm that guides research on Congress, there has been a succession of dominant methodologies. Among these the rational choice approach is the most recent. Furthermore, the sustained work on Congress has produced an accepted body of knowledge on many aspects of the institution, and considerable agreement on the current research agenda. By comparison, research on legislatures outside the United States employs a greater variety of methodologies and substantive emphases, influenced by the different contexts in which these legislatures exist and by the differences in national scholarly traditions. The theories, concepts, and measures that guide this research have varied considerably. It is therefore difficult to relate the contributions of research on legislatures outside the United States to our general understanding of the legislative institution. The premise underlying this book is that students of the U.S. Congress and students of other legislatures have a great deal to learn from each other. The political science literature on Congress is impressive but its findings are parochial in the sense that they are seldom tested in other legislative settings. Legislative specialists seem to be comfortable with the implicit but improbable conclusion that the U.S. Congress is unique. Overall, to the extent that legislative research is confined within national compartments, few generalizations can be made about legislatures as such. In the introduction to this volume, we set out what we regard as the implications of research on Congress for the field of comparative legislative research. The subsequent essays -- on legislative recruitment and careers; on legislative representation; on party structures in legislatures; on rules and procedures; and on the evolution of legislatures -- demonstrate that there is by now considerable convergence in methods and substantive interests among all legislative scholars. The final essay draws some conclusions about past obstacles to that convergence and about present prospects for its further development. Many of the essays in this volume were originally presented at an international legislative research conference at the University of Iowa in 1998. We are grateful tot he National Science Foundation, the Benjamin F. Schambaugh Memorial Fund, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and the University of Iowa for their support of this conference. We appreciate the work of Karen Stewart, Administrative Assistant in the Department of Political Science at the University of Iowa, for her work in organizing the conference. The papers presented at the conference were the subject of discussion and of written critiques by a group of distinguished commentators: Richard Calland (Cape Town Democracy Center), Herbert Döring (University of Potsdam)Heinz Eulau (Stanford University), C. Lawrence Evans (College of William and Mary), Malcolm E. Jewell (University of Kentucky), Keith Krehbiel (Stanford University), David R. Mayhew (Yale University), Michael L. Mezey (DePaul University), Njuguna Ng'ethe (University of Nairobi), Lia Nijzink (University of Leiden)Samuel C. Patterson (Ohio State University), Suzanne Schüttemeyer (University of Halle), Käare Strøm (University of California at San Diego), and John R. Wright (Ohio State University). On the basis of that discussion, all of the papers were substantially revised. The essays in this volume by John R. Hibbing, Gary F. Moncrief, Werner J. Patzelt, Fabiano Santos, David T. Canon, Michael Laver, Steven S. Smith, Gary W. Cox, Bjørn Erik Rasch, Rick K. Wilson, and John M. Carey, Frantisek Formanek, and Ewa Karpowicz weere first published in the Legislative Studies Quarterly. We thank the Comparative Legislative Research Center of the University of Iowa, which publishes the journal, for permission to reprint these essays here. Finally, we are grateful to Michelle L. Wiegand, Managing Editor of the Quarterly, for supervising all aspects of the publication of these essays. We intend this volume , and the substantial references to the literature that accompany each essay, to be both a reflection of and a contribution to cross-national collaboration in the field of legislative studies, We hope it will strengthen comparative legislative research.

Item Type:Book
Additional Information:© 2002 University of Michigan Press.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Benjamin F. Schambaugh Memorial FundUNSPECIFIED
Charles Stewart Mott FoundationUNSPECIFIED
University of IowaUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160222-145607023
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:64652
Deposited On:24 Feb 2016 21:04
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 09:39

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