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Governing AmericaThe Revival of Political History$
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Julian E. Zelizer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691150734

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691150734.001.0001

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Bridging State and Society: The Origins of 1970s Congressional Reform

Bridging State and Society: The Origins of 1970s Congressional Reform

(p.221) Eleven Bridging State and Society: The Origins of 1970s Congressional Reform
Governing America

Julian E. Zelizer

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the origins of congressional reform in the 1970s and how the struggle over institutional reform during the period presents historians an excellent opportunity to reconceptualize the way in which we study Congress. It considers three forces outside Congress in the 1960s that established a strong foundation for congressional reform in the 1970s: the Supreme Court and voters, the news media and its coverage of congressional scandals, and the political discourse about institutional reform. It shows that electoral reform, changing media coverage on congressional scandal, and the discourse about institutional reform converged to establish a strong foundation for reform in the next decade by focusing new attention on how Congress operated, who ran Congress, and how Congress fit within the larger needs of the nation's political system.

Keywords:   congressional reform, institutional reform, Congress, Supreme Court, voters, news media, congressional scandals, electoral reform

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