Deliberation in Congress

Paul J. Quirk and William Bendix

in The Oxford Handbook of the American Congress

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199559947
Published online May 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of American Politics

 Deliberation in Congress

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Winning and losing is a prominent feature of politics in Congress: an institution where decisions are determined by counting votes. In the politics of Congress, the more important concern is whether decisions are intelligent in the view of the circumstances of policy and the goals and interests relevant to a decision. Such intelligence depends on the manner Congress uses information and reasoning in making decisions. Simply put, intelligence depends on the quality of effectiveness of deliberation. While there has been vast research on Congress, most of it has been focused entirely on influence, coalitions, and other issues of winning and losing. Much of these research has overlooked deliberation and the intelligence of decisions. This neglect on the issue of deliberation is unfortunate as intelligent decision-making is rather difficult for Congress and stakes are generally high. Luckily, there has been an increasing interest in the process and problems of deliberation in Congress. This article reviews the development of literature that focuses on the issues of deliberation in Congress. It focuses on the conflicts and ambiguities, including advances in the literature of deliberation in Congress. It also offers some suggestions about promising directions for future work.

Keywords: politics in Congress; decisions; politics; deliberation; development of literature; deliberation in Congress

Article.  11634 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Political Institutions

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