You are not currently logged in.
Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Dynamics of Legislative Gridlock, 1947-96
Sarah A. Binder
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 93, No. 3 (Sep., 1999), pp. 519-533
Published by: American Political Science Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2585572
Page Count: 15
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Upper houses, Political parties, Landmarks, Political partisanship, Filibuster, Legislators, Legislation, Bicameral legislatures, Political violence
Were these topics helpful?See somethings inaccurate? Let us know!
Select the topics that are inaccurate.
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
David Mayhew's Divided We Govern (1991) sparked an industry of scholars who alternately challenge or confirm the work on theoretical and empirical grounds. Still, we lack a definitive account of the proportions and causes of legislative gridlock. I revisit the effects of elections and institutions on policy outcomes to propose an alternative theory of gridlock: The distribution of policy preferences within the parties, between the two chambers, and across Congress more broadly is central to explaining the dynamics of gridlock. To test the model, I construct a measure that assesses legislative output in proportion to the policy agenda. Using newspaper editorials to identify every salient legislative issue between 1947 and 1996, I generate Congress-by-Congress gridlock scores and use them to test competing explanations. The results suggest that intrabranch conflict-perhaps more than interbranch rivalry-is critical in shaping deadlock in American politics.
The American Political Science Review © 1999 American Political Science Association