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The Substance of RepresentationCongress, American Political Development, and Lawmaking$
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John S. Lapinski

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691137810

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691137810.001.0001

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Policy Issue Substance and the Revitalization of Legislative Studies

Policy Issue Substance and the Revitalization of Legislative Studies

(p.1) Chapter I Policy Issue Substance and the Revitalization of Legislative Studies
The Substance of Representation

John S. Lapinski

Princeton University Press

This chapter seeks to introduce a substance-oriented research program based on policy issues for studying Congress from multiple vantage points. In doing so, it makes serious progress on systematically understanding Theodore Lowi's provocative claim that “policy determines politics,” which, while important, has never been satisfactorily understood, either empirically or theoretically. In advancing a substance-oriented approach to studying policymaking and lawmaking in Congress, the chapter sheds light on several important new tools and ideas to use in determining how policy issue substance matters for lawmaking. These include new data, such as an immense data set on U.S. lawmaking between 1877 to 1994; new and massive measures of political preferences broken down by policy issue areas for U.S. lawmakers spanning the period 1877 to 2010; and fresh approaches to analyzing these new data sets.

Keywords:   U.S. Congress, policymaking, politics, substance-oriented research, lawmaking, U.S. lawmakers, political preferences, Theodore Lowi

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