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Representational Style in Congress
What Legislators Say and Why It Matters


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  • Date Published: March 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107026476

£ 79.99

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About the Authors
  • This book demonstrates the consequences of legislators' strategic communication for representation in American politics. Representational Style in Congress shows how legislators present their work to cultivate constituent support. Using a massive new data set of texts from legislators and new statistical techniques to analyze the texts, this book provides comprehensive measures of what legislators say to constituents and explains why legislators adopt these styles. Using the new measures, Justin Grimmer shows how legislators affect how constituents evaluate their representatives and the consequences of strategic statements for political discourse. The introduction of new statistical techniques for political texts allows a more comprehensive and systematic analysis of what legislators say and why it matters than was previously possible. Using these new techniques, the book makes the compelling case that to understand political representation, we must understand what legislators say to constituents.

    • Provides the most comprehensive measures to date of how legislators communicate with constituents
    • Introduces new techniques for the analysis of large collections of text
    • Demonstrates how new computational social science tools can address longstanding questions in the study of politics
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    • Winner, 2014 Richard F. Fenno, Jr Prize, Legislative Studies Section, American Political Science Association

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2014
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107026476
    • length: 214 pages
    • dimensions: 231 x 157 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • contains: 27 b/w illus. 9 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Representation inside and outside Congress
    2. Representation and evaluation on the senator's terms
    3. Measuring presentational styles with Senate press releases
    4. Measuring presentational styles in thousands of press releases
    5. Types of presentational styles in the US Senate
    6. The electoral connection's effect on senators' presentational styles
    7. Correspondence between senators' work in Washington and presentational styles
    8. Why presentational styles matter for dyadic representation
    9. Why presentational styles matter for collective representation
    10. Presentational styles and representation.

  • Author

    Justin Grimmer, Stanford University, California
    Justin Grimmer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University, California, which he joined after receiving his PhD from Harvard University's Department of Government in 2010. His research combines new statistical techniques, machine learning, and massive data sets to study how political representation occurs in American politics. His work has appeared in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, The Journal of Politics, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Political Analysis, and Regulation and Governance. Grimmer's research has received several awards, including the Warren E. Miller prize for best paper published in political analysis, the Robert H. Durr award from the Midwest Political Science Association, and the John T. Williams prize from the Society for Political Methodology.


    • Winner, 2014 Richard F. Fenno, Jr Prize, Legislative Studies Section, American Political Science Association

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