This book examines how the constitutional requirements of the lawmaking process, combined with the factional divisions within parties, affect US representatives' decisions about how to distribute power among themselves. The incorporation of the presidential, senatorial, and House factions in the analysis of House rule making marks an important departure from previous theories, which analyze the House as an institution that makes laws in isolation. This book argues that, by constitutional design, the success of the House in passing legislation is highly contingent on the actions of the Senate and the president; and therefore, also by constitutional design, House members must anticipate such actions when they design their rules. An examination of major rule changes from 1879 to 2013 finds that changes in the preferences of constitutional actors outside the House, as well as the political alignment of these political actors vis-...-vis House factions, are crucial for predicting the timing and directionality of rule changes.
Gisela Sin is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. A Fulbright scholar who received her PhD in political science from the University of Michigan, she studies political institutions, emphasizing the strategic elements of separation of powers. She is co-author of a book on Argentinean institutions, Congreso, Presidencia, y Justicia en Argentina, and her other work has appeared in such journals as Comparative Political Studies, the Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, and Public Choice. She has given presentations at universities and conferences in the United States, Latin America, and Europe.
Winner of American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Family Foundation Award for Fiction 2015.