Sinclair, Barbara 1940- (Barbara Sinclair Deckard, Barbara Louise Sinclair)

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Sinclair, Barbara 1940- (Barbara Sinclair Deckard, Barbara Louise Sinclair)

PERSONAL:

Born November 21, 1940. Education: Rice University, B.A., 1962; University of Rochester, Ph.D., 1970.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Political Science Department, University of California, Los Angeles, 4289 Bunche Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1472. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Academic and political scientist. University of California, Riverside, assistant professor, then associate professor, then professor, 1970-96; University of California, Los Angeles, Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics, 1996—, then professor emeritus. Fellow, American Political Science Association, 1978-79; president's chair, University of California, 1990-92, 1993-96.

MEMBER:

American Political Science Association (vice president, 1987-88), Western Political Science Association (president, 1992-93), Southern Political Science Association, International Political Science Association.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Richard F. Fenno Prize, American Political Science Association, for The Transformation of the U.S. Senate; D.B. Hardeman Prize, Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation, 1990, for The Transformation of the U.S. Senate.

WRITINGS:

(As Barbara Sinclair Deckard) The Women's Movement, Political, Socioeconomic, and Psychological Issues, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1975, 3rd edition, 1983.

Congressional Realignment, 1925-1978, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 1982.

Majority Leadership in the U.S. House, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1983.

The Transformation of the U.S. Senate, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1989.

Legislators, Leaders, and Lawmaking: The U.S. House of Representatives in the Postreform Era, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1995.

Unorthodox Lawmaking: New Legislative Processes in the U.S. Congress, CQ Press (Washington, DC), 1997, 3rd edition, 2007.

Party Wars: Polarization and the Politics of National Policy Making, University of Oklahoma Press (Norman, OK), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Barbara Sinclair is an American academic and political scientist. Born on November 21, 1940, she started her higher education studies at Rice University, earning a bachelor of arts degree in 1962. Sinclair completed her graduate studies at the University of Rochester, completing a Ph.D. in 1970.

Sinclair began lecturing at the University of California, Riverside, that same year, rising through the professorial ranks, until becoming a full professor of political science. From 1978 to 1979 she served as a fellow of the American Political Science Association. Sinclair also served two terms holding the president's chair of the University of California system, the first from 1990 to 1992, and the second from 1993 to 1996. In 1996 she moved to the University of California, Los Angeles, and began serving as the Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics. Nearly a decade later, she became a professor emeritus within the political science department.

Sinclair is a member of a number of professional and academic organizations, including the Southern Political Science Association and the International Political Science Association. From 1987 to 1988 she served as vice president of the American Political Science Association. Additionally, she served as president of the Western Political Science Association from 1992 to 1993. Sinclair's 1989 publication The Transformation of the U.S. Senate won both the Richard F. Fenno Prize from the American Political Science Association and the D.B. Hardeman Prize from the Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation.

Sinclair published Legislators, Leaders, and Lawmaking: The U.S. House of Representatives in the Postreform Era in 1995. The book looks at the ways activist party leadership in Congress forms and operates. Incorporating theories and showing the evolution through the experimental phases of leadership activities, the book also evaluates the impact party leadership makes on successfully winning legislative successes.

Bruce I. Oppenheimer, writing in the American Political Science Review, observed: "I would be remiss in commenting on this otherwise outstanding work if I did not mention two reservations"; since the author gives individual mention for leadership initiatives, "it strikes me as odd that Richard Bolling's name is only mentioned once and then not in regard to the changes in leadership powers." "Second, Sinclair deals all too briefly with the shortcomings of House majority-party leadership in the post-reform era." Nevertheless, Oppenheimer concluded that "this book is a most remarkable undertaking. It represents a scholarly research effort that has stretched over nearly two decades. It has involved the getting and maintaining an unusual level of access to the workings of Democratic Party leadership and yet an ability to remain sufficiently distant to develop the broader perspective. The end result is clearly a most important—if not the most important—book on party leadership and Congress." Joseph Cooper, writing in the Political Science Quarterly, summarized that "the appropriate question to ask is not whether the author made the correct strategic choices, but whether the results justify the choices. Even if implicit, choice is unavoidable and necessarily limiting. In this case the answer is a clear and emphatic yes. Whatever the costs, the benefits are immense. Barbara Sinclair's detailed picture and insightful analysis of change and practice in leadership behavior will serve as a classic study of the post reform House for all present and future students of Congress."

In 1997 Sinclair published Unorthodox Lawmaking: New Legislative Processes in the U.S. Congress, whose third edition was released in 2007. This book analyzes the changes and the reasons why the way Congressional lawmakers work in the manner that they do, which Sinclair has shown to be more complex than in the past. In this she covers topics and legislative issues, including health care, energy policies, tax-cutting agendas, and the style that the majority party rules of the legislative body.

A contributor to Reference & Research Book News noted that the book has the purpose of "closely examining changes in the way the elected make law." Colton C. Campbell, writing in the Political Science Quarterly, stated: "That Sinclair writes such an ambitious work is a tribute to her understanding of Congress and its elaborate maze of subtleties." Campbell continued, noting that "this sophisticated and insightful book should be on the shelves of specialists and nonspecialists interested in understanding how the congressional process really works."

Sinclair published Party Wars: Polarization and the Politics of National Policy Making in 2006. This book takes into account Sinclair's previous publications and combining their insight to analyze the polarization of U.S. society and the increased level of partisanship.

Nolan McCarty, reviewing the book in the Political Science Quarterly, called Sinclair's prescriptions "overly cautious," adding that "after persuasively arguing that polarization and partisanship are phenomena whose origins and extent stretch well beyond the halls of Congress, most of her proposals focus on rather narrow technical reforms of the legislative process." McCarty concluded that "these shortcomings, however, do little to detract from what is certain to be an important contribution to our understanding of contemporary American politics."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Political Science Review, September 1, 1990, Eric M. Uslaner, review of The Transformation of the U.S. Senate, p. 1016; December 1, 1995, Bruce I. Oppenheimer, review of Legislators, Leaders, and Lawmaking: The U.S. House of Representatives in the Postreform Era, p. 1037.

Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, July, 1990, James R. Kerr, review of The Transformation of the U.S. Senate, p. 199.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, November 1, 1995, W.K. Hall, review of Legislators, Leaders, and Lawmaking, p. 544; November 1, 1997, review of Unorthodox Lawmaking: New Legislative Processes in the U.S. Congress, p. 567; December 1, 2006, N.W. Polsby, review of Party Wars: Polarization and the Politics of National Policy Making, p. 720.

Congress & the Presidency, fall, 1995, Burdett Loomis, review of Legislators, Leaders, and Lawmaking, p. 193; fall, 1997, Dena Levy, review of Unorthodox Lawmaking, p. 235.

Journal of American History, September 1, 1983, review of Congressional Realignment, 1925-1978, p. 452.

Journal of Politics, November 1, 1990, Fred R. Harris, review of The Transformation of the U.S. Senate, p. 1261; May 1, 1996, Daniel J. Palazollo, review of Legislators, Leaders, and Lawmaking, p. 573.

Political Science Quarterly, fall, 1990, Joseph Cooper, review of The Transformation of the U.S. Senate, p. 488; winter, 1995, Joseph Cooper, review of Legislators, Leaders, and Lawmaking, p. 633; spring, 1998, Colton C. Campbell, review of Unorthodox Lawmaking, p. 136; spring, 2007, Nolan McCarty, review of Party Wars, p. 149.

Political Studies, December 1, 1996, John Dumbrell, review of Legislators, Leaders, and Lawmaking, p. 1002.

Prairie Schooner, winter, 1995, review of Legislators, Leaders, and Lawmaking, p. 633; spring, 1998, review of Unorthodox Lawmaking, p. 136.

Presidential Studies Quarterly, spring, 1991, Christine Day, review of The Transformation of the U.S. Senate, p. 410.

Reference & Research Book News, September 1, 1995, review of Legislators, Leaders, and Lawmaking, p. 40; November 1, 1997, review of Unorthodox Lawmaking, p. 117; August 1, 2007, review of Unorthodox Lawmaking.

Social Science Journal, January 1, 2000, Colton C. Campbell, review of Unorthodox Lawmaking, p. 151.

Social Science Quarterly, September 1, 1998, Barry Tadlock, review of Unorthodox Lawmaking, p. 686.

ONLINE

University of California, Los Angeles, Political Science Department Web site,http://www.polisci.ucla.edu/ (August 6, 2008), author profile.

University of Oklahoma Web site,http://www.ou.edu/ (August 6, 2008), author profile.

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Sinclair, Barbara 1940- (Barbara Sinclair Deckard, Barbara Louise Sinclair)

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