Beyond Ideology: Politics, Principles, and Partisanship in the U. S. Senate

University of Chicago Press
Free sample

The congressional agenda, Frances Lee contends, includes many issues about which liberals and conservatives generally agree. Even over these matters, though, Democratic and Republican senators tend to fight with each other. What explains this discord? Beyond Ideology argues that many partisan battles are rooted in competition for power rather than disagreement over the rightful role of government.

The first book to systematically distinguish Senate disputes centering on ideological questions from the large proportion of them that do not, this volume foregrounds the role of power struggle in partisan conflict. Presidential leadership, for example, inherently polarizes legislators who can influence public opinion of the president and his party by how they handle his agenda. Senators also exploit good government measures and floor debate to embarrass opponents and burnish their own party’s image—even when the issues involved are broadly supported or low-stakes. Moreover, Lee contends, the congressional agenda itself amplifies conflict by increasingly focusing on issues that reliably differentiate the parties. With the new president pledging to stem the tide of partisan polarization, Beyond Ideology provides a timely taxonomy of exactly what stands in his way.

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About the author

Frances Lee is associate professor in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland.

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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Dec 15, 2009
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Pages
264
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ISBN
9780226470771
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / American Government / Legislative Branch
Political Science / General
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Content protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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