The slave of two masters: Members of Congress and elite and public divergence on foreign policy issues
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Recent scholarship argues that party 'elites' are both responsible for shaping mass public opinion and providing cues to members of Congress with regard to foreign policy. Souva and Rohde (2007) find evidence to support the hypothesis that, as elites diverge, members of Congress will follow suit on foreign policy roll-call votes. This is assumed to be a function of the idea that the public and the party offer the best resources for re-election. This investigation seeks to support the idea that in recent years, specifically post 9/11, elite agendas and public opinion have become increasingly out of step with one another and, as the 'slave of two masters,' members of Congress have displayed party-line voting on foreign policy issues whilst finding unofficial ways to dissent.