Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Explaining Restraint from Filibustering in the U.S. Senate: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis Approach

While Senate observers describe the modern filibuster as costless, senators still sometimes choose to forgo filibustering even when that results in the passage of legislation that they oppose. This study seeks to identify the circumstances under which legislation that is opposed by a cloture-blocking minority is not filibustered. Fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) is used to uncover the combinations of causal conditions that result in restraint from filibuster. Analysis of data from 1975 through 2006 reveals that restraint is most likely when time is not constrained, there was low filibustering during the previous Congress, the president shares membership in the Senate's majority party, and Democrats are not in the minority. Despite being included in the analysis, party polarization is not part of this pathway.