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The Paradox of Representation

Racial Gerrymandering and Minority Interests in Congress

David Lublin

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Sozialwissenschaften, Recht, Wirtschaft / Politikwissenschaft


In The Paradox of Representation David Lublin offers an unprecedented analysis of a vast range of rigorous, empirical evidence that exposes the central paradox of racial representation: Racial redistricting remains vital to the election of African Americans and Latinos but makes Congress less likely to adopt policies favored by blacks. Lublin's evidence, together with policy recommendations for improving minority representation, will make observers of the political scene reconsider the avenues to fair representation.

Using data on all representatives elected to Congress between 1972 and 1994, Lublin examines the link between the racial composition of a congressional district and its representative's race as well as ideology. The author confirms the view that specially drawn districts must exist to ensure the election of African Americans and Latinos. He also shows, however, that a relatively small number of minorities in a district can lead to the election of a representative attentive to their interests. When African Americans and Latinos make up 40 percent of a district, according to Lublin's findings, they have a strong liberalizing influence on representatives of both parties; when they make up 55 percent, the district is almost certain to elect a minority representative.

Lublin notes that particularly in the South, the practice of concentrating minority populations into a small number of districts decreases the liberal influence in the remaining areas. Thus, a handful of minority representatives, almost invariably Democrats, win elections, but so do a greater number of conservative Republicans. The author proposes that establishing a balance between majority-minority districts and districts where the minority population would be slightly more dispersed, making up 40 percent of a total district, would allow more African Americans to exercise more influence over their representatives.

Weitere Titel von diesem Autor



Claude Pepper, Voting Rights Act of 1965, Newt Gingrich, Black Report, Plaintiff, White supremacy, Socioeconomic status, Bob Menendez, Judiciary, Mobile v. Bolden, Politics, Rights, African Americans, Politician, Congressional Quarterly, Family income, Two-party system, Southern Democrats, Affirmative action, Racial segregation, Civil Rights Act of 1968, Shaw v. Reno, Citizens (Spanish political party), Constitutional amendment, United States House Committee on the Judiciary, Electoral district, Gerrymandering, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Proportional representation, General election, Bill Clinton, Miller v. Johnson, Herman Badillo, Ethnic group, Thornburg v. Gingles, Majority minority, Mike Espy, Albert Bustamante, Nationality, Racial polarization, Exclusion, Majority, Puerto Ricans, Congressional district, Redistricting, Second Reconstruction, Democracy, Henry Bonilla, Seniority, Latino vote, Public policy, Lumbee, Percentage, Republican Party (United States), Bush v. Vera, Dummy variable (statistics), Black Power, Democratic Party (United States), Legislation, Mexican Americans, Incumbent, Gary Franks, Robin Tallon, Minority group, Minority influence, Lyndon B. Johnson, United States presidential election, 1860, Congressional caucus, Cuban Americans, Jews, Ideology, Suffrage, Member of Congress, New Democrats, Board of supervisors, South Carolina v. Katzenbach, Welfare, Voting behavior, Deep South, Black people, Bennie Thompson, Activism, Trade-off, Voting, Chairman, Bill Richardson, Voter registration, Political science, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Legislator, Congressional Black Caucus, General Social Survey, Legislature, Gene Green, Ron Dellums, Non-Hispanic whites, Douglas Wilder, Ballot, Northern Democrats