Article

The Filibuster

Gregory Koger

in Political Science

ISBN: 9780199756223
Published online February 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756223-0072
The Filibuster

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Filibustering is the strategic use of delay in a legislative setting. The term is derived from a 19th-century term for a pirate or adventurer, and it may be used synonymously with obstruction. A filibuster is a sustained effort or threat to delay a measure. Filibustering is often associated with the US Senate, but legislators have obstructed in the US House of Representatives, a variety of legislatures around the world, and several American state legislatures. A filibuster is similar to a veto in that it may empower a political minority to prevent some government action, but it is dissimilar in that the right to filibuster is more likely to be informal, more likely to involve some effort or political risk, and subject to the tolerance of the parliamentary majority. Overall, the ability of legislators to filibuster may have significant effects on a polity’s policy outcomes and political stability.

Article.  5010 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Political Institutions ; Political Methodology ; Political Theory

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