Cox and McCubbins: Legislative leviathan
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Cox and McCubbins. 1993. Legislative leviathan.
Research question: How do we explain the organization of the institutions of the House of Representatives?
Argument: Parties, acting as types of legislative cartels, organize the House in order to solve their collective dilemmas, namely (1) passing party-defined collective policies and (2) minimizing member defection. The resolution of these dilemmas allows individual party members to sacrifice some individual benefits in order to obtain collective benefits.
Place in the Literature:
The arguments in this book were updated in Cox and McCubbins (2004).
Majority party uses several structural and procedural rules to minimize agency losses, including:
The majority party rules in the House: control of the agenda allows the majority party to favor its members by privileging bills sponsored by members of the majority, and by providing then greater veto-powers over legislation (relative to the minority party).
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