Scott R. Meinke
Bucknell University | Department of Political Science



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I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Bucknell University. I received my Ph.D. in American Politics from The Ohio State University in 2002.

My research agenda focuses on the effects of American political institutions on elite behavior and representation. My primary focus is the U.S. Congress, with interrelated interests in institutional change, the electoral connection, and changes in congressional representation. I have explored similar themes in collaborative research on electoral politics and the U.S. Supreme Court.

In my forthcoming book The Participatory Party: Leadership Organizations in the House of Representatives (under contract at University of Michigan Press), I examine party leadership organizations in the House of Representatives. Through structures such as whip organizations and steering committees, Republicans and Democrats have created a participatory framework for party government over the last forty years. Based on extensive archival research and quantitative analysis, I demonstrate the importance of member participation for both the leadership and the rank-and-file. Party members involved in leadership organizations benefit concretely in their career, constituency, and policy ambitions. As the top leadership pursues collective electoral and policy objectives, the participatory framework facilitates their coordination, communication, and persuasion tasks. In addition to outlining the importance of participation to the life of congressional parties, the book shows that strengthening party government conditions have narrowed the scope of participation and increased the leadership's control over these organizations. A recent article in the journal Congress and the Presidency previews some of the project's findings in the case of one party organization: the Republican Policy Committee.

My other research has been published in Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, American Politics Research, Law and Society Review, and Social Science Quarterly.

At Bucknell, I teach a range of courses on American political institutions, including a senior seminar on legislative research, as well as a course on civil liberties and a freshman seminar on media and elections. In 2012, I received Bucknell's Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Department of Political Science
Bucknell University
Lewisburg, PA 17837
570-577-1300
email: smeinke [at] bucknell [dot] edu
Twitter: @ProfMeinke