The Logic of Congressional Action

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Yale University Press, Jul 1, 1992 - Political Science - 282 pages
3 Reviews
Congress regularly enacts laws that benefit particular groups or localities while imposing costs on everyone else. Sometimes, however, Congress breaks free of such parochial concerns and enacts bills that serve the general public, not just special interest groups. In this book, the author offers a theory that explains not only why special interest frequently triumph but also why the general public sometimes wins. By showing how legislative leaders build coalitions for both types of programs, he illuminates recent legislative decisions in such areas as economic, tax, and energy policy.

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An important book, albeit extremely repetitive and unnecessarily long for the simple argument it puts forward. Read full review

Review: The Logic of Congressional Action

User Review  - Goodreads

Arnold uses outdated rational choice "logic" to defend a theory largely (and admittedly) devoid of reality. Given that the book was written before the internet, blogs, and Fox News, I can't really see much use for this book in understanding contemporary Congressional action. Read full review


Policy Attributes and Policy Preferences
Policy Preferences and Congressional Elections
Electoral Calculations and Legislators Decisions
Strategies for Coalition Leaders
Policy Decisions
Economic Policy
Tax Policy193
Energy Policy
Citizens Control of Government

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About the author (1992)

R. Douglas Arnold is William Church Osborn Professor of Public Affairs and Professor of Politics at Princeton University. His books include "The Logic of Congressional Action," which won the 1990 Fenno Prize for the best book in legislative studies, and "Congress and the Bureaucracy.

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