Dimensions of the Concept of Professionalism in State Legislatures: A Research Note

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Over the last quarter century, American state legislatures have experienced great pressures to professionalize. Recently, political scientists have redeveloped an interest in studying the causes and the consequences of state legislative professionalism. In this note we demonstrate that the concept of professionalism has several different components. While these components are related, they are different enough that they may not be tapping the same dimension. It is possible for a state legislature to be professional in one dimension and amateur in another. Moreover, different components of professionalism seem to be associated with different socio-economic factors in the state.

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