Representation in the American States

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Material Information

Title:
Representation in the American States Partisan Competition and Its Conflicting Effects on Representative Government
Physical Description:
1 online resource (17 p.)
Language:
english
Creator:
Hicks, William D
Publisher:
University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Political Science
Committee Chair:
SMITH,DANIEL A
Committee Co-Chair:
DODD,LARRY CLOYD
Committee Members:
ROSENSON,BETH ANN
MARTINEZ,MICHAEL D
KENNY,LAWRENCE W

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
initiatives -- parties -- representation
Political Science -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre:
Political Science thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract:
What is partisan competition, and how does it affect the strategic incentives and capacity of representative government in the American states? I show that partisan competition can be conceived of in two separate ways: (1) competition between candidates in elections and (2) competition between parties in government. Measures of the former often rely on information about the percentage of ``safe'' elections, the percentage of uncontested elections, and/or the average margin of victory for candidates in a given legislature and year, while measures of the latter rely mostly on information regarding the distribution of seats between the majority and minority parties in a given legislature and year. I make the case that these two different conceptions of partisan competition influence representative government in distinct and conflicting ways. For example, I argue that competition between candidates in elections (i.e., states' electoral competitiveness) encourages governments to adjust the status quo in response to changes in citizens' policy preferences, while competition between parties in government inhibits governments' capacity to do so. After describing the differences between these two conceptions of partisan competition in Chapter 2, the remaining chapters in this dissertation test the empirical implications of this argument. The main findings of this dissertation are as follows. In Chapter 3, I find that interest groups use initiatives less frequently as competition between candidates in elections increases. At the same time, I find that interest groups use initiatives more frequently as competition between parties in government increase. I argue that interest groups choose to use ballot initiatives rather than pursue policy goals in legislatures when conditions render legislatures unresponsive to or incapable of addressing citizens' policy preferences, provided that citizens are a necessary resource for groups to qualify initiatives for the ballot and pass them during elections. In Chapter 4, I show that competition between parties in government influences strongly the efficiency with which legislatures process legislation, depending on the level of ideological polarization between the parties and the party of the governor. Finally, in Chapter 5, I show that competition between candidates in elections enhances policy representation (i.e., the quantitative effect of public opinion on governments' policy outcomes), while competition between parties in government reduces policy representation. Among other notable findings, I conclude that partisan competition can serve as either a conduit for or inhibitor of policy representation.
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility:
by William D Hicks.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2014.
Local:
Adviser: SMITH,DANIEL A.
Local:
Co-adviser: DODD,LARRY CLOYD.
Electronic Access:
RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2016-05-31

Record Information

Source Institution:
UFRGP
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
Classification:
lcc - LD1780 2014
System ID:
UFE0046473:00001