The Forum’s December issue, Governing through the Senate, is now available on-line. It offers eleven short, accessible pieces on the state of the Senate. An overview of the issue appears below:
The Senate is often the institutional pivot for political conflict in the United States, so this issue of The Forum focuses on ‘governing through the Senate’. Charles O. Jones considers its inherent peculiarities as the institution meant to ‘go second’ in a separated system; Sarah Binder argues that the modern Senate is moving away from its constitutional role; Frances Lee considers the role of party competition in shaping senatorial behavior; Barry Burden asks about the influence of senatorial polarization and party balance within the bicameral context; and Daniel DiSalvo contrasts partisan polarization with divided government as influences on senatorial behavior. Randall Strahan observes one particular senator negotiating this complicated framework; Wendy Schiller and Jennifer Cassidy consider the dynamics of cooperation (or not) among same-state senators; and Andrea Hatcher contrasts a majority leader who lost re-election with another who won. Ryan Black, Anthony Madonna, and Ryan Owens examine a very private form of senatorial obstruction, ‘blue slip behavior’; Gregory Koger examines what is surely the best-known form of obstruction, the filibuster; Eric Schickler and Gregory Wawro argue that, whatever its collective impact, senators have multiple reasons to protect this filibuster; and James Wallner closes with a substantive realm, budgeting, where the absence of policy action by the Senate is critical. In book reviews, Joseph Cooper uses Matthew N. Green, The Speaker of the House: A Study in Leadership, to think about the study of Congress more generally, and Matthew Green responds; Amnon Cavari reviews B. Dan Wood, The Myth of Presidential Representation; and Philip Brenner reviews Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us.