By Scott H. Ainsworth

This ebook examines how legislators have juggled their passions over abortion with normal congressional approaches, how either exterior components (such as public opinion) and inner components (such because the ideological composition of committees and celebration structures) form the improvement of abortion coverage. pushed via either theoretical and empirical issues, Scott H. Ainsworth and Thad E. corridor current an easy, formal version of strategic incrementalism, illustrating that legislators frequently have incentives to change coverage incrementally. They then study the sponsorship of abortion-related proposals in addition to their committee referral and locate wide variety of Democratic and Republican legislators time and again supply abortion-related proposals designed to change abortion coverage incrementally. Abortion Politics in Congress finds that abortion debates have permeated a variety of concerns and wide selection of legislators and quite a few committees deal with abortion.

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S. Congress and consider why incrementalism is effective in this environment. What characterizes a legislator’s internal and external environments that encourage an incremental approach to abortion policy? When do legislators have what we sometimes call “wiggle room ,” the ability to maneuver and make decisions without completely angering either side in a debate? Congress is an institution in which incremental politics is much easier than supermajoritarian politics. A minority of legislators can often stymie even the simplest of legislative activity, but some congressional environments are more conducive to incrementalism than others.

These incremental proposals often receive key interest group support because the incentives for counteractive lobbying and undue public attention are both minimized when policy gains are checked. Our assessment of the policy-making environment within legislatures suggests that there are clear, strategic rationales for incrementalism. In this chapter, we detail the strategic rationales for incremental 1 2 Note that Wildavsky in1992 argued that the more recent budgetary process is less incremental than in the days of old.

We start in Chapter 2 by articulating a theory of incrementalism. Incrementalism received nearly unparalleled attention in the social sciences in the 1960s and 1970s. Incrementalism was so popular and so widely applied that it came to mean virtually anything and everything. One scholar found twelve common uses of the term “incrementalism” in the budgeting context alone. Often one understanding of incrementalism conflicted sharply with other understandings. Because of the widespread use and overuse of incrementalism in an array of policy contexts, critiques of incrementalism sharpened, and today the early conceptions of incrementalism are largely moribund.

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