The Development of Congressional Elections

Wendy J. Schiller

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

The Development of Congressional Elections

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This article discusses the capacity of Congress elections to serve as an effective electoral mechanism in democracy. It discusses scholarship and studies that focuses on congressional elections and provides additional questions that should be asked regarding congressional elections. The article begins with the evolution of scholarship of congressional elections. After discussing development of congressional elections, the article looks at some crucial questions on congressional elections such as: What is the effect of geographical boundaries on congressional elections? What is the role played by ballot structure and voting procedures in congressional elections? What are the changes on party organization control of nomination and the general election process? How have congressional elections served as a mechanism of accountability over time? How have congressional elections served as instruments of participation and representation? The last section here discusses future areas of research on congressional election. The discussed avenues for future research include: candidate emergence, impact of social movements, redistricting, and technological innovation in campaign communication.

Keywords: congress elections; elections; evolution; ballot; voting procedures; party organization; accountability; representation; participation

Article.  11140 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Political Institutions

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