Share this
PREVIOUS ARTICLE ALL CONTENTS Next ARTICLE

The Death of Deliberation: Partisanship and Polarization in the United States Senate, James I. Wallner

Reviewed by Gregory Koger

BUY

 

In this book, James I. Wallner provides a much-needed window into the modern Senate. The U.S. Senate is now the most important and powerful upper chamber in the world. The critical test for most legislation is whether it can attract the 60 votes necessary to pass the Senate. To do so, it must undergo an open deliberation process on the chamber floor, at least compared with the U.S. House. Because of its small size and informal rules, the Senate is ever involving as its personalities change and senators develop informal floor procedures to balance their formal commitment to open participation with their obligation to act.

Consequently, the Senate that can be written is not the eternal Senate. Donald Matthews’s classic U.S. Senators and Their World (1960) provides an extraordinary account of the 1950s Senate that was already disintegrating when the book went to press. More aggressive senators, accommodating party leaders, the acceptance of low-cost filibustering, and increasing partisanship soon transformed the Senate. This new Senate is an opaque case to study. The agenda-setting process largely consists of backroom negotiations. When these negotiations stalemate and we observe a filibuster on the Senate floor, it is difficult for outsiders to allocate blame. Is the minority party obstructing the public interest to deny the majority party any cred

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor

Demetrios James Caraley

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

Editor’s spotlight

Presidential Power and Impeachment

American Political Institutions after Watergate--A Discussion
DEMETRIOS CARALEY, CHARLES V. HAMILTON, ALPHEUS T. MASON, ROBERT A. McCAUGHEY, NELSON W. POLSBY, JEFFREY L. PRESSMAN, ARTHUR M. SCHLESINGER, JR., GEORGE L. SHERRY, AND TOM WICKER

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

New APS Book

THE PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS: Extending the U.S. Umbrella and Increasing Chances of War   THE PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS: EXTENDING THE U.S. UMBRELLA AND INCREASING CHANCES OF WAR

CONFERENCES & EVENTS

Big Challenges for the 2020 U.S. Census
November 14, 2019
New York, NY

Members of the Academy of Political Science are invited to attend this timely panel discussion on the 2020 census.

MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT VIEW ALL EVENTS

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS