In the mid-1970s, just when Congress seemed static and incapable of rejuvenation, the institution experienced an unexpected and transformative change. What accounted for this dynamic process and continues to explain other more recent upheavals and ...
waves of reform? This volume charts the thinking of scholar Lawrence Dodd in his development of theoretical explanations for congressional change over time - explained by members' pursuit of power, institutional and electoral contexts, cyclical rhythms, social learning, and polarization within society. Dodd's power cycle theory, modeled here as a dynamic act of theory development itself, takes shape to define an organizational cycle, an electoral cycle, and a learning cycle in Congress. Dodd also begins to explore here for the first time a fourth dimension of change, highlighting the possibility that the very act of Congress' transformative change and issue responsiveness may bring with it unseen and yet deep structured dangers that threaten the cyclical resilience of Congress. By showing an evolving multi-dimensional theory of congressional change in process from essay to essay, this book demonstrates the act of theory building, legitimizing this sustained form of empirical political inquiry in its own right. A new foreword from political scientist Eric Schickler sets the stage for the ways tin which Dodd's work has been innovative in the field of legislative studies.