Google full text of our books:


Personal Roots of Representation
Barry C. Burden

Paperback | 2007 | $36.95 | ($25.87) / £25.95 | (£18.17) | ISBN: 9780691134598
192 pp. | 6 x 9 | 10 line illus. 19 tables.
Add to Shopping Cart

eBook | ISBN: 9781400866939 |
Our eBook editions are available from these online vendors

Reviews | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [HTML] or [PDF] pdf-icon

Google full text of this book:

Despite heightened partisanship in the U.S. Congress and constituencies split along ideological lines, congressional representatives frequently buck their parties and seldom do precisely what voters ask. In Personal Roots of Representation, Barry Burden challenges standard explanations of legislative preferences to emphasize the important role that personal influences play in representatives' voting behavior.

This timely book is the first to examine the extent to which the very same values, experiences, and interests that shape congressional members as individuals and guide their own life choices similarly shape their policymaking decisions. Burden takes a close look at legislative decision making in the areas of tobacco regulation, vouchers and school choice, and religion and bioethics. He finds that personal factors become more significant when legislators are acting proactively rather than reactively, grappling with specific policy issues, and defending rather than challenging the status quo. Marshaling both qualitative and quantitative evidence, Burden reveals that the personal roots of representatives' actions can be as influential as the usual suspects of partisanship and constituency--and that personal factors quite often have the greatest impact when the policymaking stakes are at their highest.

Personal Roots of Representation is a provocative book that raises pressing new questions about legislative discretion and the accountability of our elected officials.


"Burden has written an important book. He argues that the policy preferences of members of Congress are not necessarily determined by the preferences of their constituents and a member's desire to be reelected, but also by their personal beliefs and experiences."--S.Q. Kelly, Choice


"This is an impressive work. Burden's argument that ideology is important, but is not everything, is compelling. It does not tear down what we know but rather builds on the existing literature with a new take. What he gives us--that some issues may not reflect the standard left-right continuum, and that legislators' personal experiences and values come into play here--is both highly original and very important."--Eric M. Uslaner, University of Maryland

"This book represents a major contribution to the study of legislative politics. Its purpose is to explore how legislators are influenced by their own personal backgrounds and experiences as they go about their legislative activities, including roll-call voting, floor speeches, and cosponsoring legislation. It will be widely read by legislative scholars and will influence how they think about the determinants of legislative behavior."--James Garand, Louisiana State University

Table of Contents:

List of Figures and Tables vii
Acknowledgments ix
Chapter One: Personal Roots of Representation 1
Chapter Two: A Theory of Legislative Preferences 14
Chapter Three: Smoking and Tobacco Regulation 54
Chapter Four: Vouchers and School Choice 88
Chapter Five: Religion and Morality 112
Chapter Six: Conclusion 137
References 151
Index 161

Subject Area:

Shopping Cart:

  • For ebooks:

Our eBook editions are available
from these online vendors:

  • Google Play eBook Store
  • Intel Education Study eBook Store
  • Many of our ebooks are available through
    library electronic resources including these platforms:

  • Books at JSTOR
  • Ebrary
  • Ebook Library
  • EBSCO Ebooks
  • MyiLibrary
  • Dawsonera (UK)

  • For hardcover/paperback orders in United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Australia

     Paperback $36.95 | ($25.87) ISBN: 9780691134598

    Add to shopping cart
    View contents of your shopping cart

    For hardcover/paperback orders in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan

     Paperback £25.95 | (£18.17) ISBN: 9780691134598

    Add to shopping cart
    View contents of your shopping cart

    Prices subject to change without notice

    File created: 9/19/2015

    Questions and comments to:
    Princeton University Press

    fall saleFall Book Sale
    New Book E-mails
    New In Print
    PUP Blog
    Princeton APPS
    Sample Chapters
    Princeton Legacy Library
    Exam/Desk Copy
    Recent Awards
    Princeton Shorts
    Freshman Reading
    PUP Europe
    About Us
    Contact Us
    PUP Home

    Bookmark and Share
    Send me emails
    about new books in:
    Political Science and International Relations
    More Choices