Congress and political parties, a checkup

By: Caitlin Hayes,  Cornell Research
September 11, 2017

How will healthcare policy change in the United States, or immigration policy? How robust are America’s institutional checks on executive power? These are largely questions about Congress, says David A. Bateman, assistant professor of government. Bateman's work is explored in this Cornell Research story.

“Once I started studying Congress, I increasingly came to believe that it’s the key U.S. democratic institution,” Bateman says. “It’s the only institution in the country that brings people together and forces them to do the job of reconciling across different groups.”

Bateman’s other main interest is political parties. “We assume we vote for a certain political party because it’s somehow closer to what we believe,” Bateman says, “rather than recognizing the degrees to which political parties shape what we believe.”

The United States Congress, political parties, and the electorate—Bateman studies how these entities have shaped each other throughout the nation’s history. “It’s messy,” he warns, with lots of insights for today.

Continue reading the full story on the Cornell Research website.

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