Filibustering in the U.S. Senate

by Lauren C. Bell

Reviews

"Bell’s exhaustive identification of all filibusters in Senate history, who led them, and the substantive issues they involved represents an invaluable contribution to our understanding of this particular form of legislative obstruction. This book is well-written and accessible, it provides new data that will be of great value to future researchers, and it provides the first analysis of the predictors of individual-level decisions to filibuster across all issue areas over an extended time period." - Congress and the Presidency

"The author’s historical analysis of the filibuster is important, ... [it] clearly demonstrates how institutional factors, such as party control of government and publicity of the Senate’s actions, have influenced filibustering in the post-cloture era. These findings are further supported by quantitative models employing data from the 80th-110th Congresses ... The power of Bell’s book is its ability to seamlessly weave historical and quantitative evidence in an effort to build a theory of filibustering. Furthermore, Bell’s use of qualitative and quantitative evidence significantly strengthens her causal arguments. Overall, this book produces a nuanced picture of filibustering in the Senate, and helps us to better understand some of the myths surrounding this contentious legislative practice." – APSA Legislative Studies Section

“Nicely written study … Using a largely original data set [included in the appendix], a great reference in itself, Bell’s analysis includes some intriguing and counterintuitive findings…a fine contribution to a growing literature on Senate obstructionism. Recommended.” – CHOICE


 

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