Although a great deal is known about the United States Congress, the differences and similarities between it and the legislatures and parliaments of other countries have not been extensively studied. This book—by a distinguished group of legislative specialists from ten countries—fills this gap by presenting legislative research from a comparative, cross-national perspective.
Consisting of fourteen essays, this volume incorporates major areas of legislative research, including studies of recruitment of legislators and an overview of their careers, the evolution of legislatures, and the electoral systems by which legislatures are chosen. Each contributor reviews the principal research findings and emphasizes those concepts and methods that facilitate comparative research. The book assesses the state of knowledge in regard to U.S., European, Asian, and Latin American legislatures. The introductory chapter by the editors identifies how to comparatively test research findings while taking into account data availability and questions of conceptual equivalence. Each chapter provides an extensive bibliography, making the book an excellent guide to literature on legislative research. The contributors are David T. Canon, John M. Carey, Gary W. Cox, Frantisek Formanek, John R. Hibbing, Ewa Karpowicz, Junko Kato, Sadafumi Kawato, Michael Laver, Gary F. Moncrief, Chan Wook Park, Werner J. Patzelt, Bjorn Erik Rasch, Kenneth A. Shepsle, Steven S. Smith, and Rick K. Wilson.
This book is designed for faculty and graduate students in political science and will also be of interest to members of legislative research staffs in this country and overseas, and to specialists on legislatures in history and law.