The checks and balances provided by the three branches of federal government are essential to nurturing and maintaining American democracy. With the guidance of coeditors Paul J. Quirk and Sarah A. Binder, this collection of essays examines the role of the Legislature in American democracy and the dynamic between the other branches of government, and discusses possible measures for reform. The volume addresses questions such as: How does Congress serve the values of democracy and American constitutional principles? Which conceptions of those values does it implement, and which does it overlook or fail to realize? What are Congress's strengths and weaknesses in performing the tasks of democratic governance? What reforms, if any, are necessary to ensure the health and success of Congress as an institution of democracy in the future?
Paul J. Quirk is at University of British Columbia. Sarah A. Binder is at George Washington University.