Center for Effective Lawmaking

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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2021-2022 Small Grant Awards Announced

2021-2022 Small Grant Awards Announced It is with honor and excitement that we announce our 4th annual small grant awards and recipients. The body of academic research produced by previous cohorts of CEL grant recipients has been not only impressive but also critical to the field. We know that this year’s group of awardees will deliver the same high caliber scholarly work. The CEL’s funding and support for research grants is consistent with its commitment to advancing the generation, communication, and use of new knowledge about the effectiveness of individual…

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Capitol Conversations: Hoos on the Hill and the Life of a Staffer

Capitol Conversations: Hoos on the Hill and the Life of a Staffer At the Center for Effective Lawmaking we know that experienced legislative staff contribute to effective lawmaking. But who, exactly, are the people making the legislative agenda move? What is the daily life of a Hill staffer when it comes to policy?In a conversation moderated by Center for Effective Lawmaking Co-Director Professor Craig Volden, three Batten alums who currently work in Congress share their thoughts and stories. These three staffers explain what their jobs look like and how their…

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Health Policy Legislative Effectiveness Scores: Highlights from the 116th Congress

Health Policy Legislative Effectiveness Scores: Highlights from the 116th Congress Which lawmakers are best able to move health policy changes through Congress, and why? In March, the Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) released our Legislative Effectiveness Scores (LES) for the recently completed 116th Congress (2019-21). We also scored members of the House and Senate based on their interest in and effectiveness at lawmaking within twenty-one different policy areas, ranging from Agriculture to Immigration to Transportation. In addition to a historical consideration of the data (our scores extend back to 1973),…

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Are Bipartisan Lawmakers More Effective?

Are Bipartisan Lawmakers More Effective? The 117th Congress wrestles with the Biden administration agenda and pressing policy challenges during an increasingly polarized time for American politics. The question looming large over all of these discussions is whether bipartisanship is dead.We find that, even in these politically polarized times, being a bipartisan lawmaker yields legislative payoffs.The Center for Effective Lawmaking has published new research drawing on data from the 93rd-114th Congresses (1973-2016). We explore whether attracting a larger proportion of cosponsors from the opposing party helps Senators and Representatives advance their…

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Reforming Congress, A Conversation with Sunwater Institute

Reforming Congress, A Conversation with Sunwater Institute The Center for Effective Lawmaking’s Co-Directors, Professor Craig Volden and Professor Alan E. Wiseman, had the opportunity to engage in an in-depth conversation with Matthew Chervenak, Founder & President of the Sunwater Institute, about Congressional reform and what concerns and recommendations we can identify based on the research at the CEL. In a two-part video series, now available online, the dialogue touches on everything from what motivated the CEL Co-Directors to bring rigorous data analysis on lawmaking effectiveness to the field of political…

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Being an Effective Lawmaker from Day One: A Guide for New Members of Congress

Being an Effective Lawmaker from Day One: A Guide for New Members of Congress The CEL is grateful for the willingness of members of Congress to engage in public service at this crucial time. We congratulate the newly-elected members of the 117th Congress. In conjunction with the start of the new legislative session, we are excited to announce the release of our new and comprehensive New Member Guide.This guide offers our best advice for how new members can become effective lawmakers. We scoured all of the materials presented in previous new…

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Legislative Effectiveness in the American States

Legislative Effectiveness in the American States Overcoming significant barriers that have previously limited scholarly research on the legislative effectiveness of individual state legislators, the Center for Effective Lawmaking is able to announce exciting new progress! Building on innovative approaches that CEL researchers have used in recent studies of the U.S. Congress, we have developed State Legislative Effectiveness Scores (SLES) for state legislators across 97 legislative chambers over recent decades.  And the results unearth more questions we encourage scholars and researchers to explore with renewed vigor. Our SLES is based on…

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On the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress Recommendations

On the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress Recommendations The vision statement of the Center for Effective Lawmaking points toward a Congress “comprised of effective lawmakers” and featuring a “strong institutional capacity.”  It is in this light that we viewed the work of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress with great anticipation and enthusiasm.  We were pleased to meet with members of the Select Committee and committee staff in a variety of forums and to offer our suggestions to the committee as they formulated their recommendations and…

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