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Title: The unbroken branch : who Congress hears and how it listens
Author: Kornberg, Maya
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 3535
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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Modern scholarship tells a story of Congressional degeneration (Mann and Ornstein 2006, Connor and Oppenheimer 1993.) My thesis focuses on Congressional committees as the focal point for Congressional learning and deliberation. I ask who Congress hears from and how listening to different perspectives affects committee members. The dissertation relies on an original dataset about committee hearings. I focused on a representative sample of four committees (Senate Foreign Relations, Senate Commerce, House Agriculture, and House Science) and used sentiment analysis and language analysis software to analyze a sample of over 700 transcripts of witness testimony from the 112th, 113th and 114th Congresses. I also constructed a dataset of the professional sectors of the witnesses who testified during this period. Finally, I conducted 53 interviews with Congresspeople, witnesses, staff, and other relevant actors. Drawing on this diverse data, I present a theory of the different types of witnesses who testify, hearings Congress holds, and the distinct effects that different hearings have on Congresspeople. My data reveals that Congress hears varied and analytical testimony and that Congressional committee hearings are in fact still educational and deliberative (under the right circumstances).
Supervisor: King, Desmond Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: US Politics