- About the Contributors
- Formal Models of Legislatures
- The Sociology of Legislators and Legislatures
- Typologies and Classifications
- Roll-Call Analysis and the Study of Legislatures
- Words as Data: Content Analysis in Legislative Studies
- Debate and Deliberation in Legislatures
- Interviews and Surveys in Legislative Research
- The Experimental Study of Legislative Behaviour
- Candidate Selection: Implications and Challenges for Legislative Behaviour
- The Effect of Electoral Institutions on Legislative Behaviour
- Gender and Legislatures
- Roles in Legislatures
- Legislative Careers
- Procedure and Rules in Legislatures
- The Politics of Bicameralism
- Political Parties and Legislators
- Party Discipline
- Legislative Party Switching
- Legislative Institutions and Coalition Government
- Institutional Foundations of Legislative Agenda-Setting
- Legislatures and Public Finance
- Legislatures, Lobbying, and Interest Groups
- Legislatures and Foreign Policy
- Common Agency? Legislatures and Bureaucracies
- Political Behaviour in the European Parliament
- Sub-National Legislatures
- The Study of Legislatures in Latin America
- Legislatures in Central and Eastern Europe
- Authoritarian Legislatures
- Reluctant Democrats and Their Legislatures
- Name Index
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
According to Nelson Polsby, the US Congress differed from most of the world’s legislatures because of its transformative capacity. The factors that account for the differences in the policy-making power of legislatures is a central question in legislative studies. One such factor is a legislature’s ability to attract and retain talented and ambitious politicians. The US Congress, for example, has presumably maintained its separateness, independence, and influence due to its ability to nurture legislative careerism. This chapter examines legislative careers in democratic legislatures and how they are influenced by political institutions. It first considers early efforts to define and measure legislative careers, along with the relationship between political institutions and legislative careers. It then looks at the evolution of research on legislative careers from macro-level studies of career patterns to micro-level studies of career choices. It also discusses several research frontiers, including research on legislative term limits, and concludes by identifying a number of key unanswered questions as well as the challenges faced by researchers in addressing them.
Thad Kousser is an Associate Professor of Political Science, University of California, San Diego.
Scott A. MacKenzie is Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of California, Davis.
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