Presentation Of Partisanship : Constituency Connections And Partisan Congressional Activity

967 WordsNov 8, 20154 Pages
Over the past three decades, parties and partisan organizations have evolved to become key features of today’s House of Representatives; the two are now essential to congressional policy and the member’s careers. In the article “Presentation of Partisanship: Constituency Connections and Partisan Congressional Activity,” published in the Social Science Quarterly (2009), Scott R. Meinke investigates how House members explain and frame their participation in partisan activity to constituency representation. In simpler terms, Meinke examines the role of partisanship in strategic home-style choices. The author uses data from the 107th, 109th, and 110th Congresses, with a focus on the member’s public websites and how they present leadership activity to conclude that Congressional parties have an impact beyond electoral outcomes and the policy process. Meinke discovers that there exists a significant difference in the extent to which members of the House publicize their activity. Political parties provide the House of Representatives with organizational structure and discipline. Therefore, they appear to be essential for understanding the relationship between members and constituents. Meinke acknowledges prior literature concerning the influence of parties on representation and in policy-making choices as well as the evolution of extended leadership. However, Meinke suggests that in the representational relationship, parties have a wider scope of influence than previously believed.

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