Cohesion or Reciprocity? Majority Party Strength and Minority Party Procedural Rights in the Legislative Process
State Politics and Policy Quarterly
What is the role of political parties in the development of legislative institutions? Recent studies have explored the expansion and contraction of minority party procedural rights in the United States Congress (Binder 1997; Dion 1997), but these studies reach contradictory conclusions. Binder, emphasizing reciprocity norms, argues that minority party procedural rights expand as the majority party loses strength, while Dion, emphasizing the notion that small majorities are cohesive, asserts that these rights contract under these conditions. I apply Binder’s and Dion’s arguments to state legislative lower houses and test them with a dataset of 336 state legislative sessions in 23 states. The relevant variation among state legislatures provides the leverage necessary to understand better the relationship between partisan politics and legislative rule adoption more generally. I conclude that in state legislatures, minority party procedural rights expand as the minority party shrinks in size.
Copyright © 2004, Nancy Martorano Miller
Miller, Nancy Martorano, "Cohesion or Reciprocity? Majority Party Strength and Minority Party Procedural Rights in the Legislative Process" (2004). Political Science Faculty Publications. 111.