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Abortion Politics in Congress
Strategic Incrementalism and Policy Change

$85.00 (P)

  • Date Published: December 2010
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521515818

$ 85.00 (P)
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About the Authors
  • This book examines how legislators have juggled their passions over abortion with standard congressional procedures, looking at how both external factors (such as public opinion) and internal factors (such as the ideological composition of committees and party systems) shape the development of abortion policy. Driven by both theoretical and empirical concerns, Scott H. Ainsworth and Thad E. Hall present a simple, formal model of strategic incrementalism, illustrating that legislators often have incentives to alter policy incrementally. They then examine the sponsorship of abortion-related proposals as well as their committee referral and find that a wide range of Democratic and Republican legislators repeatedly offer abortion-related proposals designed to alter abortion policy incrementally. Abortion Politics in Congress reveals that abortion debates have permeated a wide range of issues and that a wide range of legislators and a large number of committees address abortion.

    • No other book examines how the policy making process affects the development of abortion policy
    • Only book to assess how Congress handles the abortion issue
    • Assesses both the internal, legislative dynamics affecting the sponsorship and referral of abortion legislation and the external demands for different types of abortion policy
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “This book proposes a new understanding of why political actors with extreme opinions might support only marginal adjustments to existing policies. The case of abortion would seem to preclude half-way positions, but Ainsworth and Hall’s ‘strategic incrementalism’ explains what previously appeared a puzzle. The work will have a major impact on how we think of how politicians stake out their public positions on issues of controversy.”
    Frank Baumgartner, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    “This book raises intriguing possibilities about representation and lawmaking, and it holds together nicely. Ainsworth and Hall have woven together a coherent account of policymaking that brings in two sides of the story: the representational side, how members of Congress relate to their constituents, and the organizational side, how Congress passes legislation. It will gain attention from scholars and students of American politics across a range of subfields.”
    Ken Kollman, Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

    “With this book, Ainsworth and Hall make a significant and compelling contribution to our understanding of issue politics, the legislative process, and ideological trends over time. Their innovative theory and use of sophisticated modeling to study this issue forges a new path for students of congressional politics.”
    Wendy Schiller, Brown University

    "The authors' analysis is nuanced and yields robust and substantively significant findings."
    Political Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521515818
    • length: 240 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 13 b/w illus. 21 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Strategic Incrementalism and the Political Backdrop for Abortion Politics in Congress:
    1. Some of the politics surrounding abortion policy
    2. The strategic foundations for incrementalism in legislatures
    3. The nature of Congress and incrementalism in abortion politics: views from the inside and views from the outside
    4. A short legislative history of abortion
    Part II. Abortion in the House:
    5. Sponsors of abortion policies
    6. Playing the field: committee referrals of abortion-related proposals
    7. Conclusion.

  • Authors

    Scott H. Ainsworth, University of Georgia
    Scott H. Ainsworth is an Associate Professor of Political Science in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia. His work on lobbying, interest groups and the U.S. Congress has appeared in numerous outlets, including the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics and Legislative Studies Quarterly. He is the author of Analyzing Interest Groups.

    Thad E. Hall, University of Utah
    Thad E. Hall is an Associate Professor of Political Science and a Research Fellow at the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Utah. He has authored or coauthored three books - Point, Click, and Vote: The Future of Internet Voting, Electronic Elections: The Perils and Promise of Digital Democracy and Authorizing Policy - and coedited the book Election Fraud: Detecting and Preventing Electoral Manipulation. He has written more than 20 articles and book chapters examining various aspects of public policy.

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