Political Science 540, American National Institutions, Spring 2000
Prof. Frank Baumgartner
Questions and discussion topics for week 6, February 12:
Readings: Various articles on committees, Krehbiel, Pivotal Politics
Choose one of these topics for a five page paper if you choose to do one this week. In any case, come to class prepared to discuss the following:
- Explain the logic of the distributional view of committees. Explain the logic of the party-centered view. Why would the parties allow the committees to deviate from their preferred policies? Why would the chamber as a whole allow a subset to deviate?
- Explain and evaluate the evidence used in this debate.
- Review the evidence presented in the JOP paper. What is the significance of studying issues rather than studying committees as most have done?
- Note the reliance on roll-call voting studies. Suggest alternatives and the relative merits of studying these issues with other methods.
- Krehbiel’s more recent book provides a general theory of the impact of institutional rules on congressional behavior. Evaluate the usefulness of the theory.
- Krehbiel is always careful with his methods. Evaluate his evidence. What more could one do to test this theory?