In this Book

summary

Lawmaking provides many opportunities for proposals to be altered, amended, tabled, or stopped completely. The ideal legislator should assess evidence, update his or her beliefs with new information, and sometimes be willing to change course. In practice, however, lawmakers face criticism from the media, the public, and their colleagues for “flip-flopping.” Legislators may also only appear to change positions in some cases as a means of voting strategically.

This book presents a systematic examination of legislative indecision in American politics. This might occur via “waffling”—where a legislator cosponsors a bill, then votes against it at roll call. Or it might occur when a legislator votes one way on a bill, then switches her vote to the other side. In Indecision in American Legislatures, Jeffrey J. Harden and Justin H. Kirkland develop a theoretical framework to explain indecision itself, as well as the public’s attitudes toward indecision. They test their expectations with data sources from American state legislatures, the U.S. Congress, and survey questions administered to American citizens. Understanding legislative indecision from both the legislator and citizen perspectives is important for discussions about the quality of representation in American politics.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. List of Figures
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. List of Tables
  2. pp. xiii-xiv
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xv-xviii
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  1. 1. Open-Minded or Indecisive?
  2. pp. 1-18
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  1. 2. A Theory of Legislative Indecision
  2. pp. 19-36
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  1. 3. Competing Principals and Waffling in State Legislatures
  2. pp. 37-60
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  1. 4. State-Level Patterns in Waffling
  2. pp. 61-77
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  1. 5. Predicting Waffling in State Legislatures and the US Congress
  2. pp. 78-98
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  1. 6. A Placebo Test: Vote Switching in California
  2. pp. 99-118
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  1. 7. The Consequences of Indecision
  2. pp. 119-153
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  1. 8. Indecision and Representation in American Politics
  2. pp. 154-168
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  1. A. Appendix to Chapter 2
  2. pp. 169-175
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  1. B. Appendix to Chapter 7
  2. pp. 176-180
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 181-184
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  1. References
  2. pp. 185-194
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 195-198
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780472124268
Related ISBN
9780472130993
MARC Record
OCLC
1046189566
Pages
216
Launched on MUSE
2018-08-23
Language
English
Open Access
No
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