Identifying Predictors of Congressional Incivility: An Individual-level Analysis
Casas, Nicholas, 1995--
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This research explores what background characteristics are more closely associated with uncivil acts by members of Congress, while serving in Congress. Put differently, the research seeks to identify biographical attributes that predict uncivil member behavior. The time period of the study is the 45th (1877-78) through the 113th Congress (2013-14). Each implicated members is compared, randomly, with another member from their political party, their chamber, and their Congress, holding constant these factors as possible explanations for uncivil acts. Independent variables tested include: legal education and experience, judicial experience, state legislature experience, ideological alignment, congressional leadership, being the chair of a standing committee, and gender. The analysis suggests both leadership roles, state legislative experience, and gender associate with civility in the hypothesized manner. However, our test of legal background confirms the null hypothesis; there is no difference between those implicated and their matched pair.