Center for Effective Lawmaking

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 of the three main research areas of the CEL: identification of the characteristics of those who would likely become effective lawmakers once elected; cultivation of effective lawmakers and institutional structures within U.S. legislative bodies; and accountability of legislators for their lawmaking effectiveness.

The conference featured five paper presentations, including “Legislating as a Team Sport: The Social Connections of Effective Lawmakers,” “Endogenous Social Interactions with Unobserved Networks,” “Pivots or Partisans? Proposal-Making Strategy and Status Quo Selection in Congress,” “Policy Specificity and Effective Lawmaking,” and “Congressional Town Halls and Legislative Effectiveness.” In addition, several CEL grant recipients from 2021-2022 were also in attendance, to share their developing findings on their CEL-sponsored research projects.

The conference also provided the Center with the opportunity to present the 2022 Award for Best Publication on Effective Lawmaking to authors Jesse M. CrossonAlexander C. FurnasTimothy Lapira, and Casey Burgat for their 2021 article in Legislative Studies Quarterly, titled Partisan Competition and the Decline in Legislative Capacity among Congressional Offices.”

The Center was honored to host the speakers and affiliates the night of the conference for a dinner at the Meriwether Springs Vineyard; as well as the night before at the home of CEL Co-Director Craig Volden. All attendees benefited greatly from the opportunity to share their ideas with each other in an in-person setting; and the Center continues to be excited by the strength of our developing intellectual community. We look forward to hosting our next (Fifth Annual) conference at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, in June 2023.
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