Congrès, Congress, Culture, Discours politique, Political Speech, Revendication, Claim, Savoir, Knowledge, Science, Symbolisme, Symbolism, Taxation, Courbe de Laffer, Politics, Symbols, Taxes, Sociologie, Sociology, Sociologie politique, Political sociology, Comportement politique, Political behaviour, Methods and statistics, and Méthodes et statistiques
Political debates over knowledge claims often become emotionally charged, with two sides not only disputing what is true but seeing those on the other side as deluded or worse. By looking at use of the term Laffer curve in the U.S. Congress from 1977 to 2010, we draw attention to two ways such debates over knowledge claims can evolve. The Laffer curve is a simple schematic representation of the relationship between tax rates and government revenue that was influential in U.S. tax policy in the late 1970s. Early on, Republicans and Democrats faced off over the Laffer curve as a cognitive symbol to be debated with argument, evidence, and reference to experts. Over time, Republicans continued to treat the Laffer curve as a cognitive symbol, but for Democrats it became a polluted expressive symbol that could be dismissed without debate. Democrats also articulated the Laffer curve as part of an ironic narrative about the failure of the Reagan administration, which ended the possibility of serious deliberation. We suggest that the dynamics seen here may also be present around other politicized knowledge claims, such as the claim that human activity is causing climate change.
LAUDERDALE, Benjamin E, SCHAEFFER, Nora Cate, and DYKEMA, Jennifer
TOPICS IN SURVEY MEASUREMENT AND PUBLIC OPINIONPublic opinion quarterly. 77:2-23
Attitude politique, Political attitude, Niveau d'information, Information Level, Opinion publique, Public Opinion, Pouvoir législatif, Legislative Power, Préférence, Preference, Sénat, Senat, Débat politique, Polarisation, Sociologie, Sociology, Sociologie politique, Political sociology, and Public opinion
Recent studies of the U.S. Congress have demonstrated a substantial difference between the level of partisan polarization displayed by legislators' votes and that shown in citizens' survey responses about those votes. Perhaps public polarization would increase if citizens were more attentive to political debates in Congress. Using natural variation in citizens' levels of political information, I show that citizens who are informed about the partisan alignment of issues have a preference distribution similar to that of Congress, even after the sample is reweighted to resemble the entire public in their political, social, and demographic characteristics via matching. In contrast, using a survey experiment, I show that cue and argument treatments only partially reduce the discrepancy between the views expressed by the public and the voting behavior of Congress on the same issues. Both experimental and observational studies have significant limitations for measuring counterfactuals involving public opinion, and so our understanding of the polarization gap remains unfortunately limited.
Action politique, Political action, Congrès, Congress, Lien social, Social link, Loi, Act of Parliament, Pouvoir politique, Political Power, Sociologie, Sociology, Sociologie politique, Political sociology, Systèmes, partis et institutions politiques, and Political systems, parties and institutions
Knowing how campaign contributors influence policymaking is important for understanding political power, but the existing literature—much of it outside sociology—has mixed findings. Using data on Political Action Committee (PAC) contributors and roll call voting in eight U.S. Houses, 1991-2006, I approach the issue using a novel, sociological approach that focuses on social ties between lawmakers and mutually shared contributors. The findings show consistent, statistically significant contributor influence via these ties in seven of the eight Houses. I discuss the implications of these findings for contributor-lawmaker reciprocal exchange, the social embeddedness of policymaking, and political power.
Congrès, Congress, Latino-américain, Latino-American, Minorité ethnique, Ethnic Minority, Représentation politique, Political Representation, Système politique, Political system, Sociologie, Sociology, Cultures et civilisations, Cultures and civilizations, Groupes ethniques. Acculturation. Identité culturelle, Ethnic groups. Acculturation. Cultural identity, Sociologie politique, Political sociology, Systèmes, partis et institutions politiques, and Political systems, parties and institutions
Objectives. This study updates and extends research on substantive Latino representation in the U.S. Congress. An improved method of measuring Latino interests is proposed. Methods. Using a scorecard from the National Hispanic: Leadership Agenda as the dependent variable, standard OLS regression is employed to determine the variables that best predict how members of the 108th Congress vote on issues that are salient to the Latino community. Results. The findings indicate that Latinos are substantively represented overwhelmingly by Democrats and those from majority-Democratic districts or states, while religion and level of constituency poverty also play a notable role. Conclusion. This study adds strong support to the party as a substantive representative model of minority representation. It also shows that Latinos are not more likely to be substantively represented by fellow Latinos, nor do larger Latino constituencies affect a lawmaker's propensity to vote in favor of Latino interests.