Virtually all legislative theory is built on the assumption that politicians are first and foremost reelection-seekers, and because so few countries have ever limited legislative reelection, this assumption has rarely been questioned. As a result, political science has been ill-equipped to offer insights on the impact of legislative term limits. Term Limits and Legislative Representation tests the central arguments made by both supporters and opponents of such reform by examining the experience of Costa Rica, the only long-term democracy to impose term limits on legislators, and by providing extensive comparisons with legislatures in Venezuela and the United States. Professor Carey challenges claims made about the effects of term limits on political careers, pork barrel politics, and the effectiveness of political parties in passing their programs.
John M. Carey is John Wentworth Professor in the Social Sciences at Dartmouth College. He has also taught at the Universidad Catolica de Chile, the University of Rochester, Washington University in St Louis, Harvard University, and at the Fundacion Juan March in Madrid, Spain. His interests are comparative politics, elections, and Latin American politics. His research focuses on institutional design and democratic representation. Carey's books include Legislative Voting and Accountability (Cambridge, 2009), Presidents and Assemblies: Constitutional Design and Electoral Dynamics (with Matthew Shugart, Cambridge, 1992), Executive Decree Authority (also with Shugart, Cambridge, 1998) and Term Limits in the State Legislatures (with Richard Niemi and Lynda Powell). He has published articles in the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, Perspectives on Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Electoral Studies, Party Politics, Comparative Politics, Latin American Politics and Society, Public Choice, Estudios Publicos, Political y Gobierno, the Revista de Ciencias Politicas, and the Revista Brasileira de Ciencias Sociais, as well as chapters in twenty edited volumes. Data and results from his research are available on his website (http://www.dartmouth.edu/~jcarey/).