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Community Structure in Congressional Cosponsorship Networks

Authors
  • Zhang, Yan
  • Friend, A. J.
  • Traud, Amanda L.
  • Porter, Mason A.
  • Fowler, James H.
  • Mucha, Peter J.
Type
Preprint
Publication Date
Nov 04, 2007
Submission Date
Aug 08, 2007
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2007.11.004
Source
arXiv
License
Unknown
External links

Abstract

We study the United States Congress by constructing networks between Members of Congress based on the legislation that they cosponsor. Using the concept of modularity, we identify the community structure of Congressmen, as connected via sponsorship/cosponsorship of the same legislation, to investigate the collaborative communities of legislators in both chambers of Congress. This analysis yields an explicit and conceptually clear measure of political polarization, demonstrating a sharp increase in partisan polarization which preceded and then culminated in the 104th Congress (1995-1996), when Republicans took control of both chambers. Although polarization has since waned in the U.S. Senate, it remains at historically high levels in the House of Representatives.

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