First Advisor

Richard Clucas

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science and University Honors


Political Science


Ideology -- Political aspects -- United States, Ideology -- United States -- History, Legislative bodies -- Oregon, Party affiliation -- Oregon -- Influence, United States -- Politics and government




In the 1960s a wave of transformations took place within American State Legislatures. Reforms included expanded session length, and increase in staffing and legislator salaries. While some states adopted these reforms quickly, others were more resistant and lagged behind. Scholars have developed a variety of possible explanations for this phenomenon, however the influence Ideology has often been overlooked. This paper examines the relationship between Ideology and Professionalization by surveying Oregon Legislators. Oregon is ideally suited for such a study as the legislature recently approved the change to annual sessions and increases in legislator pay. The data gather from the survey illustrates the potential impacts ideology may have in determining policy outcomes favorable to Professionalization. Democrats, and more specifically Liberals, are more likely to favor aspects [of] Professionalization while Republicans tend to oppose reform. The Oregon case study reopens the door for further research into ideological factors that continue to influence the Professionalization of Legislatures across the nation.


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