Public Media for Central Pennsylvania
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Democracy Works: Does Congress Promote Partisan Gridlock?

Frances E. Lee
Princeton University

ome of the most talked about issues in Congress these days are not about the substance of policies or bills being debated on the floor. Instead, the focus is on partisan conflict between the parties and the endless debate about whether individual members of Congress will break with party ranks on any particular vote. This behavior allows the parties to emphasize the differences between them, which makes it easier to court donors and hold voter attention.

Some amount of competition between the parties is necessary in a healthy democracy, but have things gone too far? Frances E. Lee joins us this week to explain.

Frances E. Lee is jointly appointed in the Department of Politics and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs where she is Professor of Politics and Public Affairs. She is the  author of "Insecure Majorities: Congress and the Perpetual Campaign" and the forthcoming "The Limits of Party: Congress and Lawmaking in a Polarized Era" with James M. Curry.   

Jenna Spinelle is the Communications Specialist for the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State. She is responsible for shaping all of the institute's external communication, including website content, social media, multimedia, and media outreach.
Related Content