- Series: American Politics and Political Economy Series
- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (October 1, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0226092712
- ISBN-13: 978-0226092713
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #305,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Race, Redistricting, and Representation: The Unintended Consequences of Black Majority Districts (American Politics and Political Economy Series) 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Garth Brooks: The Anthology Part 1 | Limited Edition
A great gift for country music fans, The Anthology Part 1 includes CDs containing the music of Garth's first five years, and behind-the-scenes photographs and stories never before made public. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
According to Canon's theory, as black majority districts are created, a high number of black candidates will emerge. He further suggests that if only black candidates run, the winning black candidate will adhere to a "politics of commonality" approach to representation. If a white candidate is also in the field, the winning black candidate will adhere to a "politics of difference" approach to representation (94). In other words, in a black majority district, "the presence or absence of a white candidate will determine which type of black candidate wins" (96).
In order to test the supply-side theory and explore the balancing approach to representation, Canon developed a methodology composed of both quantitative and qualitative methods; here termed a method of triangulation.
From the qualitative school, Canon uses comparative case study analysis. Canon uses two case studies of black majority districts in North Carolina. In addition to case studies, Canon conducted a number of interviews with representatives and staffers. The qualitative method allows the author to concentrate on individual behaviors and motivations. The author argues that the use of case studies and interviews allows for the exploration of variables such as personal ambition, and other variables that motivate candidates to enter political races. In addition, Canon concludes that "members of Congress (from black majority districts) get elected by appealing to different electoral coalitions, and they stay in office by keeping those constituencies happy," in other words, by maintaining a balancing approach to representation (143).
In order to support his hypothesis with quantitative evidence, Canon uses a data set that "includes the race of every candidate in House districts that were at least 30 percent black in 1972, 1982, and 1992" (96). This data set allows the author to test specific assumptions by controlling for different variables across districts. Furthermore, Canon offers a host of regression analyses covering many instances of race in politics in the House of Representatives. He uses Leadership Conference on Civil Rights scores, statistics of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), racial content of bills and legislative outcomes, and others. The research illustrates a number of important phenomena regarding the representation of black constituents by African-American legislators.
First, in the early years of the CBC, black legislators maintained a politics of difference style of representation. However, after 1992, an influx of moderate black representatives changed the make up of the CBC. Canon proposes that these changes are a result of supply-side and "constituency-based" factors. In other words, as black representatives more often appeal to a politics of commonality campaign style, the style is translated into a representative style in the House. Once in the House, the representatives who were elected on a platform of commonality take a balancing approach to representation. Canon's quantitative research promotes that "For many members of the CBC it makes sense to break with the CBC and work with the Democratic leadership on one piece of legislations, while simultaneously speaking out for minority interests on another" (199). In other words, the new black representatives consciously follow a system of acknowledging racial issues, but consider both white and black interests.
Lastly, the question arises as to whether black majority districts deny representation to white constituents. Canon has discovered that black members representing a duality of racial interests are better able to balance the diverse needs of black and white constituents, than white representatives (244). As such, Canon argues that black majority districts serve as good "middle-ground position" for both proponents of commonality and difference methods of representation. He feels that it is imperative that minorities receive a greater political representation and the creation of black majority districts does not impinge on the rights of white constituents as the politics of difference was not predominate in black majority districts.
Also, Canon presents evidence of something that seems to have come as a surprise to him -- that on a wide range of issues black Americans are not significantly to the political left of white Americans even as a matter of statistical average. He gathered survey data on a wide range of issues he codes as non-racial, including health care, taxes, abortion, etc. He has plotted the results, broken down by race, on a scale from 0 (rightwardmost possible opinion) to 1 (leftwardmost possible opinion). The distribution of white and black opinions on this basket of issues was nearly identical. The "mean" black opinion on that scale was 0.4654. The "mean" white opinion was 0.4653!
Despite such interesting features, the book is marred by some special pleading for Canon's own political views.
For a unique, well-argued, and persuasive study of racial politics, buy this book.