Center for Effective Lawmaking

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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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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Is Legislative Effectiveness a Global Concern? New Research from Brazil.

Is Legislative Effectiveness a Global Concern? (New Research from Brazil) In the series Is legislative effectiveness a global concern?, we’ve begun to look at how researchers in other countries create methodologies to ascertain the effectiveness of their government institutions. After looking at critical work being done in France on this topic, we now turn our attention to Brazil. In multi-party presidential democracies in Latin America, there is an underlying belief that the executive branch holds strong policy making power. Furthermore, many political parties offer few incentives to effective lawmakers because…

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Learn About Effective Lawmaking

Learn About Effective Lawmaking: Introducing Our New Short Course For the first time, the Center for Effective Lawmaking is offering you the opportunity to learn about effective lawmaking from your own home! In eight short video modules, our Co-Director, Professor Craig Volden at the University of Virginia, walks participants through how we measure effective lawmaking, what we include (and don't) in our metrics, and some of our unique findings. Professor Volden also discusses how the Center for Effective Lawmaking has moved to impactful engagement and our exciting plans for future…

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Turning Legislative Effectiveness into Electoral Success

Turning Legislative Effectiveness into Legislative Success The Center for Effective Lawmaking (“CEL”) conducted an in-depth study to explore whether lawmakers in Congress are rewarded in primary elections for their effectiveness. Do effective members win at a greater rate during this time of the electoral cycle? Can they ward off challengers? The answer, for the first time, is clear. And it has obvious impacts on how lawmakers considering reelection should use their time in Congress. Looking at congressional primaries data from 1980-2016 allowed CEL researchers to remove partisan cues and focus…

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Is Legislative Effectiveness a Global Concern?

Is Legislative Effectiveness a Global Concern? (New Research from France) Research centers across the globe are exploring how data can help ascertain the effectiveness of their political officials. As the Center for Effective Lawmaking has investigated the legislative performance of US lawmakers, as well as what any trends about such can tell us about our current system, we have a keen interest in learning from our international counterparts. Researchers in France, Mexico and Brazil have created, or are in the process of creating, methodologies to analyze government officials’ activities in…

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How Effective are Party Faction Members in Congress?

How Effective are Party Faction Members in Congress? There is much discussion given today’s political climate about the rise and strength of political factions. As those who are like-minded bind more closely to push through legislation and change, the inclination is to believe that working together in a cohesive faction will wield power to move legislative changes through Congress and the larger the faction the more powerful it is. But is this true? At the Center for Effective Lawmaking, we took an in-depth look at ideological caucuses. Factions (formally referred…

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Meet Our Faculty Affiliate: Gerry Warburg

Meet Gerry Warburg: Practitioner and Beloved Professor Gerald Warburg, a Center for Effective Lawmaking Faculty Affiliate, is a seasoned Congressional practitioner who utilizes his breadth of experience to teach and lead the next generation. Currently, Warburg is a Professor of Practice of Public Policy at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. His research interests include the study of best practices by non-governmental organizations and the evolution of U.S. nuclear non-proliferation policies. Warburg’s professional background encompasses a broad array of public service. He…

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