Communication in Congress: Members, Staff and the Search for Information - Studies in Government and Public Policy (Paperback)David Whiteman (author)
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As Whiteman reminds us, communication lies at the core of congressional decision making and thus at the core of representative democracy itself. Treating each congressional office as an "enterprise" composed of the elected official and associated personal and committee staff, he explores how enterprises develop the communication networks they need to obtain information and policy analysis from interest groups, executive agencies, congressional support agencies, and policy research organizations.
Relying on network analysis and more than 300 interviews with senators, representatives, and staff members during the 99th Congress, Whiteman provides an in-depth analysis of congressional communication based on four specific issue networks in the health and transportation policy domains. After determining each enterprise's level of interest in each issue, he contrasts the extensive searches of the few enterprises that have chosen to become involved in the issue with the much more limited searches of the vast majority of enterprises merely staying attentive to developments.
Whiteman is particularly careful to assess the place of policy analysis within the full range of information sources available to enterprises. By following a sample of policy analysis projects throughout the course of an entire Congress, he is able to establish that Congress is using, much more than previously acknowledged, information from policy analysts and other expert sources.
The first study to look closely at the contributions of congressional staff within the context of overall congressional communication networks, Whiteman's book will be useful to scholars and teachers of legislative politics, public policy, policy analysis, and political communication. In addition, with its accessible language and wealth of anecdotes and practical examples, it should be especially appealing to all citizens, lobbyists, government employees, and policy analysts attempting to communicate with Congress.
Publisher: University Press of Kansas
Number of pages: 248
Weight: 390 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
"The best study I have read about communication in Congress or the role of congressional staff. A major contribution."--C. Lawrence Evans, author of Leadership in Congress
"Recommended reading for all with a public policy interest."--William P. Browne, author of Cultivating Congress
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