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: 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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Meet our Faculty Affiliate: Michael Minta

Meet our Faculty Affiliate: Michael Minta The Center for Effective Lawmaking recently sat down with faculty affiliate Professor Michael Minta, an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota, to discuss his research and his partnership with the CEL. Professor Minta’s research focuses on American politics, race and ethnicity in US politics, and representation of underrepresented groups in Congress. Most recently, Professor Minta has also been researching interest groups and how they react to private funding. When asked how he came to study political science, Professor Minta explains…

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Meet our Faculty Affiliate: Andrew Clarke

Meet Our Faculty Affiliate: Andrew Clarke Andrew Clarke, an Assistant Professor of Government and Law at Lafayette College, and current Faculty Affiliate of the CEL, uses his expertise not only to advance legislative research but also to help the next generation of scholars. Professor Clarke received his undergraduate degree in political science at Bucknell University and a doctorate in government at the University of Virginia. His research area of expertise includes American political institutions with a more specific focus on legislative party factions.As an undergraduate at Bucknell University, Clarke first…

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Meet Our New Post-Doctoral Affiliate: Erinn Lauterbach

Meet Our New Post-Doctoral Affiliate: Erinn Lauterbach The Center for Effective Lawmaking is excited to introduce our newest post-doctoral fellow, Erinn Lauterbach. Erinn received her bachelor’s in political science and psychology from Central College, and her master’s and PhD from the University of California, Riverside. Hailing from Iowa, Erinn has always been a “political junkie.” Her interest in political science was solidified when she had the opportunity to study abroad in London, serving as an intern for a member of the British Parliament. Erinn was fascinated by the differences in…

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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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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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