An Analysis of Frymer’s Theory of American Politics

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Evaluate whether and to what degree Frymer’s theory of American politics (of electoral capture) serves to explain the empirical results that Bartels observes about the poor.
Is Frymer’s theory consistent with Bartels’s findings?To what extent are the poor electorally captured? If so, why? under what circumstances? If not, why not?

Government institutions develop policies that dictate who gets what, when, and how. Frymer’s research examines the degree to which, and how, the two party system in the US serves to undermine the extent to which minority groups get representation. Bartels, in contrast, documents that the poor do better when Democrats are in office but that neither party represents them particularly well. Write an approximately 5 page essay that evaluates whether and to what degree Frymer’s theory of American politics (of electoral capture) serves to explain the empirical results that Bartels observes about the poor. Is Frymer’s theory consistent with Bartels findings? That is, to what extent are the poor electorally captured? If so, why? under what circumstances? If not, why not? Does some other explanation discussed in class or in the readings (e.g., Bishin’s theory) better explain Bartels’s findings? How so?

In writing, you should begin by stating your thesis and then very briefly summarize Frymer’s theory and Bartels evidence. It is fine to reject the arguments and/or evidence, however, you must provide empirical evidence for doing so (not just provide your own opinion). Begin by defining electoral capture. Then evaluate whether the treatment of the poor is consistent with it. Specifically, you should employ concepts from class lectures and readings to help explain why we see the outcomes Bartels describes. To answer these questions you do not need to do outside research.

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