Testing the Significance of Background in the Decline of Congressional Comity: an Analysis of Implicated Members, 1970-2005.
This study aims to test the significance of background characteristics, and the entailing socialization, in explaining acts of incivility by members of Congress. The research diverges from traditional approaches to the study of conflict in Congress in its belief that discord in Congress is two dimensional, one geme born of policy and principle and the other arising from personality differences among members. Specifically, fourteen different variables that pertain to either an individual's background experiences or Congress specific contextual considerations are scrutinized. Two major newspapers are used to identify uncivil acts, or more specifically, the violation of congressional n01ms intended to promote a courteous and decorous legislative work environment. The time period studied is 1970 to 2005. The specific acts or violations of comity are presented in an Appendix. Of particular interest to this study_is a test of whether legislators that can be defined as ideologues are more likely to be implicated in uncivil acts. Ultimately, the research finds that many of the background experiences such as previous occupation and previous state legislative experience are statistically linked to the probability of being implicated in personality-based conflict, thus weakening the traditional notion that discord in Congress is solely a function of ideological extremism.
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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Courtesy; Legislators -- United States -- Attitudes; United States -- Congress
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Milita, Kerri, "Testing the Significance of Background in the Decline of Congressional Comity: an Analysis of Implicated Members, 1970-2005." (2006). HIM 1990-2015. 595.