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Marginals, Mavericks, and Majorities: Elements of Legislative Behavior, Politics, and Elections


Legislators have the power to make, edit, and retract laws, but what motivates the individual legislator to behave in the way they do? Why do some legislators support their party, while others chose to strike their own path? Undoubtedly, no single explanatory behavior can account for the wildly different behavior of so many individuals, but do the actions of legislators reveal the menu of preferences that determine their actions? This dissertation attempts to account for three major issues facing legislators in both the United States and in a comparative context. Chapter 2 analyzes how electoral security impacts the behavior of U.S. Representatives. Chapter 3 examines how electoral security of U.S. Representatives has changed across time. Chapter 4 analyzes the impact of legislative design using a novel sample of British MPs who have also served in the European Parliament. Finally, in Chapter 5 I summarize these findings and provide implications for U.S. Politics.

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