Community Structure in Congressional Cosponsorship Networks

Physica A, Vol. 387, No. 7, pp. 1705-1712, March 2008

5 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2007 Last revised: 19 Aug 2008

See all articles by Yan Zhang

Yan Zhang

California Institute of Technology

A. J. Friend

Georgia Institute of Technology - Mathematics

Amanda L. Traud

North Carolina State University

Mason A. Porter

California Institute of Technology

James H. Fowler

UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences; UC San Diego School of Medicine

Peter J. Mucha

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill

Date Written: August 8, 2007

Abstract

We study the United States Congress in terms of the network between Members of Congress and the legislation that they cosponsor. Using the concept of modularity, we identify the community structure of legislators, 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.

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Yan and Friend, A. J. and Traud, Amanda L. and Porter, Mason A. and Fowler, James H. and Mucha, Peter J., Community Structure in Congressional Cosponsorship Networks (August 8, 2007). Physica A, Vol. 387, No. 7, pp. 1705-1712, March 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1008209 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1008209

Yan Zhang

California Institute of Technology ( email )

Pasadena, CA 91125
United States

A. J. Friend

Georgia Institute of Technology - Mathematics ( email )

United States

Amanda L. Traud

North Carolina State University ( email )

Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC 27695
United States

Mason A. Porter

California Institute of Technology ( email )

Pasadena, CA 91125
United States

James H. Fowler (Contact Author)

UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Code 0521
La Jolla, CA 92093-0521
United States

HOME PAGE: http://jhfowler.ucsd.edu

UC San Diego School of Medicine ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
MC 0507
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

HOME PAGE: http://jhfowler.ucsd.edu

Peter J. Mucha

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill ( email )

102 Ridge Road
Chapel Hill, NC NC 27514
United States

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