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By Linda Fowler

Discusses the influence of the method of candidate choice on democracy within the usa

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Additional resources for Candidates, Congress, and the American Democracy (Analytical Perspectives on Politics)

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He saw the decentralization of authority in Congress as a cooperative solution to the problem of conflicting individual goals and demonstrated how a variety of rules, norms, and structures associated with committee government served to accommodate the maximum number of members. However, the drive for personal power inevitably created weaknesses in the institution that diminished its capacity to act, to set fiscal priorities, to take responsibility for decisions, to oversee the bureaucracy, and finally to anticipate policy change (1985, 495-500).

Mayhew elaborated his argument by pointing out how the committee system and the lack of party discipline enabled members to claim credit for legislation and to take symbolic positions that were 4. Sec Cooper and Brady (1981) for a detailed critique of the limitations of institutionalization as an explanatory concept. Candidacy and the American Political Tradition 29 popular but lacked policy impact. In short, he contended that members of Congress turned their institution into a highly efficient and specialized "reelection machine" (1974a, 81).

1 is a summary of the different approaches. In revisiting these various conceptualizations of candidacy, two things must be kept in mind. First, the study of recruitment turned to the analysis of political careers quite early because of problems of data and measurement. Although scholars continued to define recruitment as the socialization and apprenticeship leading to public office, they became interested primarily in the end result-the electoral success of declared candidates and the upward mobility of incumbents.

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