Accountability in American Legislatures

Our core understanding of democracy suggests that officeholders should be electorally punished when they perform poorly or fail to represent their constituents. My book manuscript – Accountability in American Legislatures – evaluates the extent to which theories of political accountability apply to state legislatures by addressing the question: do elections hold state legislators accountable for their own performance? Building upon the work from my award-winning dissertation, my analyses of candidate decision-making, voter knowledge, and election outcomes show that rather than being a referendum on how state legislators perform, state legislative elections are dominated by national politics. A full copy manuscript can be found here with versions of chapters below:


Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Challengers in State Legislative Elections
Chapter 3: Who represents you in the legislature?
Chapter 4: What do voters think about when voting in state legislative elections?
Chapter 5: Accountability for Legislative Representation
Chapter 6: The Electoral Impact of Party Performance
Chapter 7: "Accountability" in Primary Elections
Chapter 8: You can't Fire Me...I quit!
Chapter 9: The Foundation of Statehouse Democracy