In From Inclusion to Influence, Walter Wilson addresses urgent questions regarding the political incorporation of Latinos in America. First, he demonstrates that Latino representatives in the U.S. Congress do, in fact, represent Latino interests more effectively than do other representatives, both by serving as conduits connecting fellow Latinos to the government and by introducing their concerns into the legislative process. Then, moving beyond the debate about descriptive and substantive representation, Wilson identifies the ways in which the efforts of Latinos in Congress enable the meaningful inclusion of Latinos in politics, foster the ability of Latinos to shape public policy, and ultimately promote democracy in an increasingly diverse nation.
“This book makes a major contribution to our understanding of the opportunities and constraints confronted by historically marginalized communities as they attempt to become more politically integrated in America’s national political institutions . . . This book will stand alone as the most comprehensive study of Latino representation in the U.S. Congress.”
—Luis Fraga, University of Notre Dame
“This book makes a very nice contribution to the literature on Latino representation by showing that, even though it is sometimes difficult to see measurable results from formal legislative activity, Latino representatives are still essential. Through analysis of less formal actions of representation such as debate, committee hearings, and communication with constituents, Wilson demonstrates the importance of Latino legislators to the political inclusion and incorporation of Latinos.”
—Stella Rouse, University of Maryland