How do electoral incentives affect legislator behavior?

June 19, 2018
Image source By Alexander Fouirnaies and Andrew B. Hall  The Democratic Goal: Electoral Accountability Those in power don’t always do what we want them to do; this is the central… Read More

Video: Weak parties and strong partisanship

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May 23, 2018
At our April 2018 Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group meeting, Marquette professor and contributor Julia Azari discussed her take on how and why we can have… Read More

The House and Senate go rogue?

May 22, 2018
Image source: The Hill By Joshua C. Huder Today’s Congress is often rightfully perceived as lacking democracy and controlled by a select few. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are cast… Read More

Social media’s polarizing effects

April 24, 2018
Image source: NYMAG By Kevin Wagner Mark Zuckerberg’s recent testimony in front of Congress illustrates two very important points about social media. Every member of Congress knows they have… Read More

Member joining patterns across party factions in the 115th Congress

April 18, 2018
Image source: Politico By Danielle Thomsen Two main teams compete for partisan control in the contemporary Congress, but even in the current context of high partisan polarization, differences between members… Read More

Leadership super PACs and the further centralization of power

March 8, 2018
Image source: PBS By Marian Currinder The direct primary was one of the Progressive Era’s most consequential reforms. Diminishing the role of parties in the nominating process meant that campaigns… Read More

The decline of party capacity in the House

February 21, 2018
Image source: Politico By Scott Meinke In the last two decades, the House of Representatives has lost a great deal of institutional capacity.  Sources of expertise and… Read More

How women work harder to stay in Congress

February 15, 2018
Image source: Politico By Jeffrey Lazarus Almost ten years ago, my colleague Amy Steigerwalt and I were writing on congressional earmarks when we noticed an interesting trend: in the years… Read More

Rethinking member ambition and the reelection goal

February 7, 2018
Image source: Lee Drutman/Vox By Marian Currinder That members of Congress are ambitious is a political science axiom. Getting elected (and reelected) to Congress requires ambition, as does the earnest… Read More

Does gerrymandering cause gridlock in Congress?

February 1, 2018
Image Source: US Census By Marian Currinder Last week, David Wasserman and his Gerrymandering Project colleagues released The Atlas of Redistricting, a massive undertaking that involved drawing… Read More