Center for Effective Lawmaking

Congressional Town Halls and Legislative Effectiveness

Town hall meetings have long been a way for constituents to hear from their Representatives and Senators face-to-face, and to likewise raise their most pressing policy concerns.  Is there a tradeoff between legislators spending their time and effort on town halls instead of focusing their energies on other important policymaking activities? New analysis from the Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) Faculty Affiliate Andrew J. Clarke and his co-author Daniel Markovits addresses this question by drawing on more than 23,000 town hall meetings over the past eight years.The authors find that the…

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Measuring the Effectiveness of Public Leaders

How do we know if public leaders are effective in their jobs? CEL Co-Director Craig Volden, Faculty Affiliate Laurel Harbridge-Yong, and Grant Recipient Beatriz Rey all contributed their insights as part of a panel discussion and Q&A hosted by the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Friday, July 22. They discussed the measurement of effectiveness of lawmakers, as well as how voters and others use effectiveness information to hold elected officials accountable.Watch the panel in its entirety below:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQrwJ9vOKV8

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The CEL’s 2022 Award for Best Publication on Effective Lawmaking

The CEL's 2022 Award for Best Publication on Effective Lawmaking This year, in coordination with our Fourth Annual Research Conference, the Center for Effective Lawmaking was pleased to announce the 2022 Award for Best Publication on Effective Lawmaking. The award was presented to Jesse M. Crosson, Alexander C. Furnas, Timothy Lapira, and Casey Burgat for their 2021 article in Legislative Studies Quarterly, titled "Partisan Competition and the Decline in Legislative Capacity among Congressional Offices.” In this paper, the authors take a deep dive into a new (and original) data set drawn from 236,000 quarterly payroll disbursements by…

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Inside the 4th Annual Research Conference at the Center for Effective Lawmaking

The Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) hosted its Fourth Annual Research Conference on June 13, 2022 at the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville, Virginia. Dean Ian Solomon, of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia, delivered opening comments to over 40 attendees, who were drawn from a wide range of research institutions and organizations across the United States, to discuss and evaluate new ideas put forward regarding the broad topic of effective lawmaking. Consistent with past conferences, the presented works all engaged with different aspects…

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WATCH: Race & Political Representation Inside & Outside of Congress

WATCH: Race & Political Representation Inside & Outside of Congress On March 31, 2022, Alan Wiseman, Co-Director of the Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) moderated a discussion at Vanderbilt University where a distinguished group of panelists explored how those advocating for underrepresented groups have made progress inside and outside of Congress. The panel included Michael Eric Dyson, Centennial Chair and University Distinguished Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies and University Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt University; Michael Minta, professor of political science at the University of…

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WATCH: A Discussion on the Gender Gap in Political Ambition

WATCH: A Discussion on the Gender Gap in Political Ambition On March 29, 2022, Center for Effective Lawmaking Co-Director Craig Volden interviewed CEL Faculty Affiliate and UVA Professor Jennifer Lawless about the new report she co-authored, "The Gender Gap and Political Ambition." The discussion centered around why, as stated in the report, "men continue to be much more interested than women in running for elective office," her own experiences as a candidate for Congress, and what we can learn to narrow the gap. Watch below to view the discussion and…

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The Gender Gap in Political Ambition

The Gender Gap in Political Ambition In a new report just released, Center for Effective Lawmaking Faculty Affiliate Jennifer Lawless and her co-author, Richard Fox, find that the gender gap in political ambition endures. Despite the number of women serving in Congress doubling in the past twenty years, the views that potential women candidates hold about electoral politics and their own political aspirations don’t seem to have moved. This can be seen in the report assessing political ambition.According to Lawless, “Men continue to be much more interested than women in…

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A Conversation with Senator Bill Frist: The Keys to Effective Lawmaking in Turbulent Times

A Conversation with Senator Bill Frist: The Keys to Effective Lawmaking in Turbulent Times On December 7, 2021, the Center for Effective Lawmaking partnered with Vanderbilt University's Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy to host a conversation with former Senate majority leader Bill Frist. A panel of experts tackled the issue of effective lawmaking in today's landscape during a virtual discussion entitled, “The Keys to Effective Lawmaking in Turbulent Times."  In today’s polarized U.S. Congress, the lack of bipartisanship often prevents opportunities to enact meaningful legislation. What can lawmakers…

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CEL’s Inaugural Award for Best Publication

CEL Award: Best Publication on Effective Lawmaking This year, in coordination with our Third Annual Research Conference, the Center for Effective Lawmaking was pleased to announce the inaugural award for Best Publication on Effective Lawmaking. The award was presented to Marco Battaglini, Valerio Leone Sciabolazza, and Eleonora Patacchini for their 2020 publication in the American Journal of Political Science, entitled “Effectiveness of Connected Legislators.” The work applies a network analysis to the study of effective lawmaking in the U.S. Congress. It demonstrates that those who are more centrally located in social…

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Inside the 3rd Annual Research Conference at the Center for Effective Lawmaking
Center for Effective Lawmaking Conference opens with remarks from Dept. of Political Sciences, Chair, Alan Wiseman in Alumni Hall.

Inside the 3rd Annual Research Conference at the Center for Effective Lawmaking

Inside the 3rd Annual Research Conference at the Center for Effective Lawmaking The Center for Effective Lawmaking hosted its Third Annual Research Conference in early November 2021 at Vanderbilt University. After the pandemic forced the conference originally scheduled in June to be postponed due to safety considerations, there was a lot of energy and excitement. A group of scholars came together on the beautiful campus in downtown Nashville, TN to discuss research surrounding effective lawmaking, The conference featured five presentations of work with titles such as “The Primary Path for…

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