Center for Effective Lawmaking

Women’s Issues and Their Fates in Congress

Women's Issues and Their Fates in Congress It is no surprise to voters that bills addressing the classically considered “women’s issues” are more likely to be introduced by female members of Congress. Yet, bills on such issues are half as likely as other bills to be passed into law. Beyond that fact, CEL research has revealed a further surprising and disheartening finding. The likelihood of passage of “women’s issues” legislation drops in half yet again if the women’s issue bills are sponsored by women themselves. If men sponsor the legislation,…

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Meet our Faculty Affiliate: Danielle Thomsen

Meet our Faculty Affiliate: Danielle Thomsen Professor Danielle Thomsen is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the  University of California, Irvine. Her research and writings have been an integral part of progressing the CEL’s portfolio. Previously an Assistant Professor at Syracuse University, she also worked as a research scholar at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton University during the 2018-2019 academic year. Her research focuses on American politics, the U.S. Congress, and gender and politics. She is the author of Opting Out of Congress: Partisan…

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Elite Education and Legislative Behavior in the U.S. Congress

Elite Education and Legislative Behavior in the U.S. Congress The Center for Effective Lawmaking announces new research about the relationship between elite education on legislative behavior, particularly effective lawmaking, in the U.S. Congress.About a third of the U.S. Congress is comprised of legislators who attended elite colleges, universities, and law schools. We studied how legislative behaviors within this group have differed from those of other legislators between 1973 and 2014. Elite education is defined as having graduated from the most highly ranked colleges and universities, such as Stanford or Harvard, and…

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Watch: The Role of Experienced Congressional Staff

Watch: The Role of Experienced Congressional Staff in Effective Lawmaking On June 5, 2020, the Center for Effective Lawmaking hosted a discussion about the role and importance of experienced legislative staff on effective lawmaking. Mike Henry, Chief of Staff for Senator Tim Kaine, joined Center for Effective Lawmaking Co-Director, Professor Craig Volden, for a virtual conversation regarding life as a professional Congressional staffer.They spoke candidly about how experienced legislative staff can greatly impact a lawmaker’s ability to be effective. Members of Congress seek to allocate their scarce staff resources carefully,…

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Meet our Faculty Affiliate: Bruce Oppenheimer

Meet our Faculty Affiliate: Bruce Oppenheimer Center for Effective Lawmaking faculty affiliate Bruce I. Oppenheimer is a professor emeritus of political science at Vanderbilt University. As an accomplished researcher and award-winning author, his work is an asset to the CEL portfolio.Oppenheimer’s research primarily focuses on Congress, American political institutions, and energy policy. Professor Oppenheimer has been both an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow and a Brookings Institution Fellow and Guest Scholar. Among other publications, he is the author of Oil and the Congressional Process: The Limits of Symbolic Politics…

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Introducing our Summer Intern Team 2020

Meet Our Summer 2020 Intern Team With the end of the academic year, we watch as our 2019-2020 student intern team of stellar University of Virginia students go on to new ventures . However, at the Center for Effective Lawmaking, we are excited to announce our new summer team of Batten students!Please join us in welcoming the following interns to the CEL team. We look forward to their projects and hard work as they bring their unique talents to the Center's vision.Sherese Bonner is a University Achievement Award Scholar majoring…

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Watch: Primaries and Primary Reform

Watch: Primaries and Primary Reform On May 14, 2020, we partnered with the Miller Center to bring together a panel of experts to discuss primaries and primary reform. Our faculty affiliate Jennifer Lawless moderated as Chris Lu, Kyle Kondik and our Co-Director Craig Volden spent an hour answering questions such as: Is the U.S. presidential primary system really the best way to choose a nominee? Are we too reliant on campaign cash and media coverage? What are the benefits and costs of ranked choice voting? What interests these experts the…

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Watch: Women in Legislature

Watch: Women in Legislature (A Community Conversation) On May 1, the Center for Effective Lawmaking, along with Batten Women in Policy, hosted a discussion about the role and importance of women in legislatures.The CEL has ground-breaking research finding that congresswomen tend to build coalitions more regularly than their male counterparts. This results in minority-party women being some of the highest scoring legislators when it comes to effectiveness. But, this principle does not apply equally to all congresswoman, nor for their proposals in some important policy areas.Watch the recording as Professor…

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The Increased Effectiveness of the Post 9-11 Veteran in Congress

The Increased Effectiveness of the Post-9/11 Veteran in Congress The Center for Effective Lawmaking (“CEL”) announces new research about the increased effectiveness of veterans in Congress following their 9/11 service. Richard Hagner at Vanderbilt  University has found that, while military experience does not necessarily translate to increased legislative effectiveness for veterans elected to Congress, there is a strong relationship for the cohort who served the country post- 9/11.There has been a steady decline in the number of military veterans in Congress since 1973. While conventional wisdom suggests that these members…

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Meet our Faculty Affiliate: Molly Reynolds

Meet our Faculty Affiliate: Molly Reynolds Molly Reynolds has been a senior fellow in Governance Studies at Brookings since earning her PhD in political science and public policy from the University of Michigan in 2015. As a senior fellow at the prestigious think tank, Reynolds seeks to use political science research to: “provide insight and help the broader public understand complex, current political events”. Currently, she studies Congress, with an emphasis on how congressional rules and procedure affect domestic policy outcomes.One way Reynolds attempts to broaden public understanding is through…

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