Political Behavior

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 319–342 | Cite as

Influences shaping members' decision making: Congressional voting on the Persian Gulf War

  • Eileen Burgin


In this paper I examine what influences members viewed as shaping their voting decisions on U.S. strategy in the Persian Gulf in January 1991. Rather than focusing on predictors of votes and the outcomes of members' decision-making processes (the yea or nay votes as in roll-call analyses), I focus on the predominant considerations that members perceived as swaying voting choices. More specifically, drawing on data gathered from interviews with 365 congressional staff people, I show that three influences in particular stand out as significant in the decision-making process on this crisis policy: members' own policy views, supportive constituents, and (for certain groups of members) the president. Thus, while the analysis confirms, in part, the conventional view of legislators' personal policy assessments as the critical influence on foreign and defense policy votes, it also underscores that this influence does not operate in a vacuum.


Decision Making Conventional View Vote Choice Vote Decision Critical Influence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eileen Burgin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of VermontBurlington

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