Research Repository

When Do Politicians Grandstand? Measuring Message Politics in Committee Hearings

Park, Ju Yeon (2021) 'When Do Politicians Grandstand? Measuring Message Politics in Committee Hearings.' The Journal of Politics, 83 (1). pp. 214-228. ISSN 0022-3816

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While congressional committee members sometimes hold hearings to collect and transmit specialized information to the floor, they also use hearings as venues to send political messages by framing an issue or a party to the public which I refer to as “grandstanding.” However, we lack clear understanding of when they strategically engage in grandstanding. I argue that when committee members have limited legislative power they resort to making grandstanding speeches in hearings to please their target audience. Using 12,820 House committee hearing transcripts from the 105th to 114th Congresses and employing a crowd-sourced supervised learning method, I measure a “grandstanding score” for each statement that committee members make. Findings suggest that grandstanding efforts are made more commonly among minority members under a unified government, and non-chair members of powerful committees, and in committees with jurisdiction over policies that the president wields primary power, such as foreign affairs and national security.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: congressional committees, hearings, grandstanding, message politics, text analysis
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2020 08:20
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:14

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