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Representational Style in Congress: What Legislators Say and Why It Matters

Cover of book Representational Style in Congress...
Cambridge University Press
2013

This book demonstrates the consequences of legislators' strategic communication for representation in American politics. Representational Style in Congress shows how legislators present their work to cultivate constituent support. Using a massive new data set of texts from legislators and new statistical techniques to analyze the texts, this book provides comprehensive measures of what legislators say to constituents and explains why legislators adopt these styles. Using the new measures, Justin Grimmer shows how legislators affect how constituents evaluate their representatives and the consequences of strategic statements for political discourse. The introduction of new statistical techniques for political texts allows a more comprehensive and systematic analysis of what legislators say and why it matters than was previously possible. Using these new techniques, the book makes the compelling case that to understand political representation, we must understand what legislators say to constituents.