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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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Bringing Policy Issue Substance Back In

Bringing Policy Issue Substance Back In

(p.19) Chapter II Bringing Policy Issue Substance Back In
The Substance of Representation

John S. Lapinski

Princeton University Press

This chapter explains how policy issue substance could play a revitalizing role for multiple subfields in American politics, particularly congressional studies and American political development. It argues that there are three factors combined to lessen interest in the study of policy substance: the rise of deductive theory within congressional studies, which led scholars to believe that this earlier behavior-based work was limited to descriptive objectives; the findings of Poole and Rosenthal (1985, 1991, 1997), who demonstrated empirically that roll call voting in the U.S. Congress appears to be largely unidimensional and not policy-specific; and policy classification schemas that were not theoretically grounded and suffered from being period-bound. The chapter also introduces a new coding schema to parse policy.

Keywords:   policy issue substance, American politics, congressional studies, American political development, deductive theory, roll call voting, policy classification schemas

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