The rise of partisanship and super-cooperators in the U.S. House of Representatives

Clio Andris, David Lee, Marcus J. Hamilton, Mauro Martino, Christian E. Gunning, John Armistead Selden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

It is widely reported that partisanship in the United States Congress is at an historic high. Given that individuals are persuaded to follow party lines while having the opportunity and incentives to collaborate with members of the opposite party, our goal is to measure the extent to which legislators tend to form ideological relationships with members of the opposite party. We quantify the level of cooperation, or lack thereof, between Democrat and Republican Party members in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949-2012. We define a network of over 5 million pairs of representatives, and compare the mutual agreement rates on legislative decisions between two distinct types of pairs: those from the same party and those formed of members from different parties. We find that despite short-term fluctuations, partisanship or non-cooperation in the U.S. Congress has been increasing exponentially for over 60 years with no sign of abating or reversing. Yet, a group of representatives continue to cooperate across party lines despite growing partisanship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0123507
JournalPloS one
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 21 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The rise of partisanship and super-cooperators in the U.S. House of Representatives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this