Center for Effective Lawmaking

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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Meet Our Faculty Affiliate: Jennifer L. Lawless

Meet Jennifer L. Lawless: On the Gender Gap in Politics, Advice to Voters, and More CEL faculty affiliate Jennifer L. Lawless is the Commonwealth Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia. Prior to joining the UVA faculty, she was a professor of Government at American University and the Director of the Women & Politics Institute. Professor Lawless’s research focuses on political ambition, campaigns and elections, and media and politics. She is the author or co-author of six books, including Women on the Run: Gender, Media and Political Campaigns in…

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Meet Our Faculty Affiliate: Sarah Treul

Meet Sarah Treul: Living Her Dream to Educate Sarah Treul, an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has spent her eight years at the University focused on the broad idea of American political institutions. As one of our faculty affiliates, Treul’s compelling work on the effect of institutional design and rules on political outcomes is what truly distinguishes her research. Most recently, her research has focused on congressional primary elections and the role of candidate experience in campaigns and in Congress. However,…

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Do Constituents Know (or Care) about the Lawmaking Effectiveness of their Representatives?

Do Constituents Know (or Care) about the Lawmaking Effectiveness of their Representatives? With Election Day quickly approaching, voters everywhere are readying themselves to cast their vote for their candidate of choice. While voters consider a wide array of factors when determining who to vote for, we sought to explore whether a representative’s lawmaking effectiveness might influence a voter’s evaluation of his/her potential choices? Substantial evidence exists that members of the U.S. Congress vary in their lawmaking effectiveness; and many classic studies of congress point to examples of Representatives and Senators…

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Small Grant Awards 2019-2020 Announced

2019-2020 Small Grant Awards Announced It is with honor and excitement that we announce our 2nd annual small grant awards and recipients. Last year was the inaugural year of the program, and the body of academic research produced was impressive and 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 lawmakers…

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New Research About Women’s Advancement in Politics

New Research on Women's Advancement in Politics and the Gender Gap New research coming from our 2018-2019 small grant program has huge implications regarding the prospects for career advancement among female congressional staff. CEL affiliates and grant awardees Melinda N. Ritchie and Hye Young You find that female staff members experience slower rates of promotion and lower levels of compensation than male staff members at the same rank, and that this gender gap is most substantial for positions that present the greatest structural challenges for women. These differences appear to…

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2019 Research Grant Recipients

2018-2019 Grant Recipients in the Field of Legislative Effectiveness This fall, the Center for Effective Lawmaking, announced its first round of grant recipients.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 lawmakers and legislative institutions in Congress. A defining feature of the Center is its emphasis that research and understanding yield new opportunities to improve lawmaking effectiveness. The 2019 research grant recipients:Hanna K. Brant – University of MissouriAndrew Clarke – Lafayette…

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Helpful Tools for Engaged Voters

Helpful Tools for Engaged Voters Many observers and scholars of politics would argue that as a whole, American citizens lack some basic knowledge that is often needed to manage a democracy. In June of 2016, Forbes found that only 34% of Americans can name the three branches of our federal government (executive, judicial, and legislative).This is a major issue at election time, as a recent University of Pennsylvania study reveals that most Americans do not know which party controls the House and the Senate. There seems to be a fundamental knowledge…

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No Labels: A Look at a New Initiative from the Problem Solvers Caucus

No Labels: A Look at a New Initiative from the Problem Solvers Caucus In an era where intensely partisan politics is the new normal and party rhetoric takes precedent over policy proposals, a coalition of lawmakers formed a caucus challenging the status quo. This group of lawmakers organized themselves in 2017 into the Problem Solvers Caucus, as an offshoot of the political organization No Labels’ effort to create effective bipartisan cooperation among members of Congress. Since No Labels first started its initiative in 2013, the group has advanced a variety…

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