Devolution and Black State Legislators: Challenges and Choices in the Twenty-first Century
Devolution and Black State Legislators examines whether black state legislators can produce qualitative gains in the substantive representation of black interests. Once a battle cry by southern conservatives, “new federalism” has shifted power from Washington to the respective state governments and, ironically, has done so as black state legislators grow in number. Tyson King-Meadows and Thomas F. Schaller look at the debates surrounding black political incorporation, the tradeoffs between substantive and descriptive representation, racial redistricting, and the impact of black legislators on state budgetary politics. They situate contemporary constraints on black state elites as the union of macro- and micro-level forces, which allows for a reconsideration of how the idiosyncrasies of political, economic, and geographic culture converge with the internal dynamics of state legislative processes to produce particular environments. Interviews with black legislators provide valuable insights into how such idiosyncrasies may deprive institutional advancement—committee assignments, chairmanships, and party leadership positions—of the influence it once afforded.
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African American agenda Alabama Arkansas bill black interests black legislators black state legislators capita carrot caucus members Census chairs chamber chapter citizens coalitions cohesion committee assignments Congress Congressional Black Caucus constituents counties Court DeBerry decision Democratic devolution differences economic effect electoral elites expenditures federal fiscal Florida Georgia governors Hispanic ideology Illinois Immediate Immediate influence islators issues Jersey leadership legislative black caucuses legislative context legislative seats legislators represent legislatures majority majority-minority majority-minority districts Maryland measure minority population Mississippi models MPOP National Black Caucus NBCSL NCSL North Carolina Ohio organization Partial Partial partisan party percent percentage president programs public policy race racial gerrymandering racial population Reagan recipients redistricting reported Republican resolutions scores seat share segregation Senate significant social South Speaker spending statewide Table TANF Tennessee Texas tion tive U.S. Census Bureau variables Virginia voters voting Voting Rights Act welfare reform white legislators