The Constituency Motivations of Caucus Membership

  title={The Constituency Motivations of Caucus Membership},
  author={Kristina C. Miler},
  journal={American Politics Research},
  pages={885 - 920}
  • Kristina C. Miler
  • Published 1 September 2011
  • Political Science
  • American Politics Research
The popularity of congressional caucuses is puzzling, given the dominance of political parties and rules that specifically limit caucuses’ resources. Yet modern caucuses offer legislators the unique advantage of complete discretion over their membership decisions, which allows legislators to tailor their memberships to their district. As a result, caucus membership is an important means of constituency representation. Using original data from the 108th Congress, this article examines the House… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Coordinating the Congress: Explaining Caucus Persistence in the United States House
This paper represents a first-cut look at a new dataset of the compete membership of legislative caucuses in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993-2010 (103rd-111th Congresses). We develop a
The Legislative Effectiveness of Party Faction Members in Congress*
Does joining an ideological caucus help or hurt the advancement of a lawmaker’s legislative agenda? We argue that joining a faction creates opportunities for policy advancement, but also potential
Congressional Conquest: Examining Factors Affecting Legislative Triumph
Because Congress maintains a reputation as the most powerful branch of our federal government in the policymaking process, it is crucial that we understand the ins and outs of these procedures that
Policy leadership and re-election in the European Parliament
ABSTRACT What determines the re-election of incumbent members of the European Parliament (MEPs)? Using Heckman probit models with sample selection to predict re-election in 2014, this contribution
Party Sub‐Brands and American Party Factions
Scholars and pundits have long noted the dominance of the American two-party system, but we know relatively little about new, endogenous institutions that have emerged within the two major parties. I
Congressional capacity and the abolition of legislative service organizations
  • A. Clarke
  • Political Science
    Journal of Public Policy
  • 2018
Abstract I analyse the relative influence of lawmakers before and after a watershed moment in the development of faction institutions: the abolition of legislative service organizations. Blocs of
Why national parliamentarians join international organizations
  • Thomas Malang
  • Political Science
    The Review of International Organizations
  • 2018
It is customary to argue that international organizations (IOs) are very much dominated by national executives, with national parliaments wielding no or at best marginal influence. According to this
Legislative Member Organizations in a Comparative Perspective: Exploring the Bridging Nature of LMO Ties in Three Parliaments
Legislative member organizations (LMOs) have been shown to provide bridging, cross-cutting ties for legislators across committees and parties (Ringe and Victor 2013). Evidence about the utility of
Poor Representation
Tens of millions of Americans live in poverty, but this book reveals that they receive very little representation in Congress. While a burgeoning literature examines the links between political and


Congressional caucuses in national policy making
This work describes and explains the role, activities and influence of the groups known on Capitol Hill as "caucuses". Defined as voluntary groups of members of Congress with shared interests, but
Informal Congressional Caucuses and Agenda Setting
gressional caucuses as voluntary associations of members of Congress, without recognition in chamber rules or line item appropriations, which seek to have a role in the policy process. These groups
The Congressional Black Caucus and Vote Cohesion:Placing the Caucus Within House Voting Patterns
Roll-call votes of African American representatives are explored to dis cern more explicitly the ideological cohesiveness of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and factors that affect vote choice.
The Institutional Foundations of Committee Power
Legislative committees have fascinated scholars and reformers for more than a century. All acknowledge the central strategic position of committees in legislatures. The consensus, however, centers on
Redistricting and the Congressional Black Caucus
In this article I explore the impact of the new Black-majority House districts on the power of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and the nature of Black representation in those districts. These
Commitments, Transnational Interests, and Congress
The authors seek to explain the membership of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus (CHRC). Focusing on human rights violations abroad, the Caucus offers few incentives for representatives to join
The logic of congressional action
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
Demand-Side Theory and Congressional Committee Composition: A Constituency Characteristics Approach
Theory: Recent work on congressional committee composition suggests that the informational or partisan models better explain legislative structure than models based on "distributive" politics. We
The Informational Role of Caucuses in the U.S. Congress
In this article we assess the ability of caucuses to complement and counterbalance the informa tional roles of the committee system. Corroborating earlier work, we find that caucuses are often
Controlling the Floor: Parties as Procedural Coalitions in the House*
Theory: Partisan control of House organization is contested by ideological cross-party coalitions that vary in strength with the size of the majority party and its homogeneity, as well as the nature