Strategic Party Government: Why Winning Trumps Ideology by Gregory KogerStrategic Party Government: Why Winning Trumps Ideology by Gregory Koger

Strategic Party Government: Why Winning Trumps Ideology

byGregory Koger, Matthew J. Lebo

Paperback | January 30, 2017

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Why is Congress mired in partisan polarization? The conventional answer is that members of Congress and their constituencies fundamentally disagree with one other along ideological lines. But Gregory Koger and Matthew J. Lebo uncover a more compelling reason that today’s political leaders devote so much time to conveying their party’s positions, even at the expense of basic government functions: Both parties want to win elections.
In Strategic Party Government, Koger and Lebo argue that Congress is now primarily a forum for partisan competition. In order to avoid losing, legislators unite behind strong party leaders, even when they do not fully agree with the policies their party is advocating. They do so in the belief that party leaders and voters will reward them for winning—or at least trying to win—these legislative contests. And as the parties present increasingly united fronts, partisan competition intensifies and pressure continues to mount for a strong party-building strategy—despite considerable disagreement within the parties.

By bringing this powerful but underappreciated force in American politics to the forefront, Koger and Lebo provide a new interpretation of the problems facing Congress that is certain to reset the agenda for legislative studies.
Gregory Koger is associate professor of political science at the University of Miami. He is the author of Filibustering: A Political History of Obstruction in the House and Senate, also published by the University of Chicago Press. Matthew J. Lebo is professor of political science at Stony Brook University, where he also directs the Ce...
Title:Strategic Party Government: Why Winning Trumps IdeologyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:January 30, 2017Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022642460X

ISBN - 13:9780226424606


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Worst. Congress. Ever. Why?
Chapter 2. A Theory of Strategic Parties
Chapter 3. Microlevel Foundations: Do Citizens Dislike Partisanship or Extremism? (Coauthored with Everett Young)
Chapter 4. The Electoral Costs of Party Loyalty in Congress (Coauthored with Jamie Carson and Ellen Key)
Chapter 5. The Effects of Legislative Behavior on Aggregate Election Outcomes
Chapter 6. The Dynamics of Partisan Power
Chapter 7. Party Competition in Legislative Voting
Chapter 8. Conclusion

Editorial Reviews

“[Koger and Lebo] seek to explain why Congress has become so polarized along partisan lines, arguing that this has been caused by individual legislators seeking to win elections by aligning themselves with strong party leaders, even if they personally disagree with elements of their parties’ platforms.”