Presidents, Parties, and the State: A Party System by Scott C. James

By Scott C. James

This publication demanding situations dominant theories of regulatory politics through putting presidential elections and nationwide celebration leaders on the heart of yankee regulatory country improvement. within the years among 1884 and 1936, the Democratic celebration deserted its conventional regulatory schedule to enact the courses of balloting blocs deemed pivotal to the consolidation of nationwide occasion strength. Coalition-building imperatives drove the decision-making calculus of Democratic leaders, prompting legislative intervention to safe results in step with nationwide get together wishes. in spite of everything, Democratic offerings proved consequential for the nature of the yank regulatory nation. The Democratic occasion grew to become its governing energy to the build-up of nationwide administrative strength and the consolidation of company capitalism.

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An excellent overview of this debate can be found in Shepsle and Weingast, eds. Positive Theories of Congressional Institutions. " Introduction 21 The findings of this book invite us to qualify our conception of party leaders in several particulars, all of which lead back to the conclusion that the responsibilities of party leaders are more complicated and multifaceted than contemporary, agent-based theories of party leadership allow. In the first place, arguably the leaders' primary responsibility is to secure and stabilize their party's hold on the reins of chamber power.

46 Coattails were of particular interest to the most electorally vulnerable legislators. In the period covered by this book, insecure Democrats came most frequently from outside the South, legislators who owed their seat to calamities befalling the opposition party (Mugwump defections, the rise of progressive third-party challengers; economic depression). Successful presidential action was not only essential to satisfy pivotal national coalition groups, it was crucial as well to these legislators looking to transform their own fragile victories into secure bases of power.

In my analysis of the Federal Trade Commission Act (Chapter 3), the change in the relative position of the presidency and Congress is clearly Introduction 25 manifest. So too is the alteration in relationship between committee chairs and party authorities, which only a generation earlier had produced an intense rivalry for chamber ascendency in battle over the railroad commission. This will most clearly be seen in the behavior of the chairman of the House Committee on Commerce, William C. Adamson.

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