Paper for Midwest Political Science Association Conference, 2014

For those of you going to the Midwest Political Science Association in Chicago this weekend; here’s what I am presenting (with Jeff Grynaviski):


The Senate and American Federalism Revisited: The Doctrine of Instruction before the Civil War


The Constitution of 1787 gave state governments two functions that many in the Founding Generation believed to be necessary to the proper functioning of the American republic. They were expected to 1) articulate their states’ interests in Congress and 2) defend the liberties of their citizens from usurpations by the General Government. To a considerable degree, at the time of the Founding the ability of state governments to effectively perform these functions depended on their ability to influence the actions of their U.S. Senators, who were expected to advance their state’s interests with respect to the policies of the General Government, and to limit it in its attempts to overreach its responsibilities under the Constitution. In a seminal paper, Riker (1955) argues that the Senate failed to perform these functions because the Founders did not empower state legislatures with the constitutional power to instruct Senators and to recall those who failed to abide by them. In this paper, we document widespread use of instructions by state governments prior to the Civil War and offer tentative explanations for the practice given the lack of constitutional power to recall recalcitrant Senators.

42-11 Legislative Politics in the U.S. Senate
Date: Friday, April 4 8:30 am

Good luck to all the presenters!


5 thoughts on “Paper for Midwest Political Science Association Conference, 2014

  1. Pingback: Traceability and Electoral Accountability: Elected Officials and Primary Voters | Political Pipeline

  2. Was not at your panel but heard about your paper. Too theory heavy. Model use of these measures. Since it is a count, use negative bimodal regression.

  3. Pingback: Chicago 2015: “republicanism!” | Political Pipeline

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