The destruction of issue monopolies in Congress

Bryan D. Jones, Frank R. Baumgartner, Jeffery C. Talbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Scholars studying congressional committees have noted the potential for members to seek membership on particular committees, leading to bias. Underpinning this line of scholarship is what might be termed a theory of comparative committee statics, characterized by a cross-sectional empirical approach. We present a new approach that focuses on the dynamics of jurisdictional control. By following a series of issues through the committee hearing process, we show that there is indeed significant issue bias in particular committee venues. However, we also find that new committees often claim jurisdiction over issues as they are redefined in the political process. The degree of jurisdictional monopoly enjoyed by different committees has been overlooked in the literature on this topic in spite of its importance in determining the nature of representation of interests in Congress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-671
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Political Science Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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