Trends in State Legislative Parties

An assessment of political parties in the legislature shows an imbalance in their performance of the overlapping functions of representation on the one hand and governance on the other. In every respect but mobilizing and educating voters, legislative parties are doing an excellent job representing their constituencies. But the performance of the governance function, and especially the tasks of consensus building and institutional maintenance, is more problematic.

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About the Author
Alan Rosenthal is a professor with the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. He has collaborated in activities with The Council of State Governments, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the State Legislative Leaders Foundation. He has worked with the legislatures in most of the states.

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