Center for Effective Lawmaking

CEL presentation to the Regional Reporters Association

CEL presentation to the Regional Reporters Association On June 13, 2024, the Regional Reporters Association hosted a webinar featuring Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) co-directors Craig Volden and Alan Wiseman. The Association represents local news outlets covering Washington, D.C. from their hometown perspectives, bringing insights from inside the Beltway to their local constituents and communities. Professors Volden and Wiseman offered an overview of the CEL, highlighting the Legislative Effectiveness Scores of members of Congress, how these scores undergird CEL’s larger research agenda, as well as how this research can be…

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CEL presentation to the LEGIS Congressional Fellows

CEL presentation to the LEGIS Congressional Fellows On February 23, 2024, the Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) gave our annual presentation to the LEGIS Congressional Fellowship program at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. The LEGIS program is composed of a bipartisan group of professionals from government agencies selected by offices in both chambers of Congress to learn about the lawmaking process and serve as subject-matter policy experts for legislators. As in previous years, co-directors Craig Volden and Alan Wiseman (of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy…

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Polarization and Lawmaking Effectiveness in the United States Congress

Polarization and Lawmaking Effectiveness in the United States Congress Political scientists have emphasized the rightward ideological movement of congressional Republicans across recent decades, relative to a more limited leftward shift by Democrats. However, new research from Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) co-directors Craig Volden and Alan Wiseman (of the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University, respectively), and CEL Graduate Affiliate Patrick Buhr (also of Vanderbilt) argue that this asymmetric polarization has not translated into an equally conservative shift in lawmaking. Drawing on data on the lawmaking effectiveness of Representatives and…

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2023-2024 Small Grant Awards Announced

2023-2024 Small Grant Awards Announced The Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) is proud to present its 6th annual small grant awards and recipients. The awards are given to distinguished individuals who are researching topics which connect to the mission of the CEL to advance the generation, communication, and use of new knowledge about the effectiveness of individual lawmakers and legislative institutions. This group will join previous grant recipients who have made insightful contributions to the field and broadened the discussions around the topics within it. We are honored to support…

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I’m Coming Out! How Voter Discrimination Produces Effective LGBTQ Lawmakers

I’m Coming Out! How Voter Discrimination Produces Effective LGBTQ Lawmakers In this Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) working paper, the University of Virginia's Jacob Lollis and Mackenzie Dobson (CEL Graduate Affiliate) look into the effectiveness of LGBTQ lawmakers. The authors expand on earlier research that connects voter discrimination to effective lawmaking and argue that the prejudice that LGBTQ legislators face from voters enables them to be effective lawmakers. To test this, Lollis and Dobson take data on state legislators’ sexual identity and compare it to data on state legislative effectiveness…

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Meet our Faculty Affiliate: Andrew Pennock

Meet our Faculty Affiliate: Andrew Pennock The Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) is excited to introduce one of our newest faculty affiliates, Andrew Pennock. Currently, he serves as an Associate Professor of Public Policy at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia (UVA). While at UVA, Professor Pennock has leveraged his relationship with Virginia state legislators to establish Batten as an influential force for policy development in the state. He serves in a number of capacities at UVA including as an elected member…

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Meet our Research Affiliates: Fred Gui and Arjun Vishwanath

Meet our Research Affiliates: Fred Gui and Arjun Vishwanath The Center for Effective Lawmaking is happy to introduce Fred Gui and Arjun Vishwanath as two of our newest postdoctoral research affiliates.Fred Gui is a postdoctoral research associate at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. His research interests include American political institutions, interest groups, state and local politics, and racial and ethnic politics. His most recent project examines the impact of having racial diverse staffers on the corresponding legislators' choices to sponsor and…

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Meet our Faculty Affiliate: Ju Yeon (Julia) Park 

Meet our Faculty Affiliate: Ju Yeon (Julia) Park  The Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) is excited to introduce Ju Yeon (Julia) Park as one of our newest Faculty Affiliates. Professor Park is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science at Ohio State University. Previously, she has served as an Assistant Professor of Government at the University of Essex in Colchester, UK, and received her doctoral degree in Politics from New York University in New York, NY. Professor Park has also completed postdoctoral research at both the University…

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Meet our Faculty Affiliate: Christian Fong

Meet our Faculty Affiliate: Christian Fong The Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) is happy to announce one of our newest Faculty Affiliates, Christian Fong. He is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan, teaching classes at both the undergraduate and PhD level. Previously, as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow, Professor Fong served as an economic policy advisor to Senator Mike Lee. In addition, he spent three years as a Graduate Research Fellow for the National Science Foundation and completed a PhD in Political Economics at the…

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Pivots or Partisans?: Proposal-Making Strategy and Status Quo Selection in Congress

Pivots or Partisans? Proposal-Making Strategy and Status Quo Selection in Congress Lawmakers vary considerably in how effectively they advance their priorities through Congress. However, the actual proposal-writing strategies undergirding these differences have remained largely unexplored, due to measurement and methodological difficulties. These obstacles have included prohibitively small sample sizes, costly data requirements, and strong theoretical assumptions. In this Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) working paper, political scientists Jesse Crosson (CEL Faculty Affiliate), Alexander Furnas, and Geoffrey Lorenz (CEL Faculty Affiliate) address these obstacles and analyze the proposal strategies of effective…

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