Politics past the edge: Partisanship and arms control treaties in the U.S. Senate

C. James Delaet, Charles M. Rowling, James M. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Contemporary research on congressional activism in American foreign policy indicates that individual members of Congress have become more assertive over time. If so, the motivations and interests of individual members of Congress are even more important for understanding American foreign policy. What factors motivate members of Congress as they take a more active role in foreign policy than ever before? Recent research suggests that partisanship has increased in importance over the past three decades. This paper examines Senate ratification votes on the Limited Test Ban Treaty (1963), Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (1968), Chemical Weapons Convention (1997) and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (1999) to gauge the relative importance of three determinants of congressional voting - partisanship, ideology, and electoral concerns - while also controlling for region, career background, and other variables. Examining treaties in both the Cold War and Post-Cold War eras, we find that our model becomes increasingly powerful in the post-Cold War treaties and, especially, that partisanship increases substantially from the Cold War treaty votes to the post-Cold War votes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-207
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Political and Military Sociology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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