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UVa Lecture: Building a Better Congress: One Effective Lawmaker at a Time

February 17, 2016 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Craig Volden, Associate Dean and Professor in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy will share his work on the Legislative Effectiveness Project, a joint research project that seeks to understand why some members of the United States Congress are more effective at lawmaking than others. Professor Volden and his co-author, Alan Wiseman, have recently published Legislative Effectiveness in the United States Congress: The Lawmakers (2014) after developing a new metric of individual legislator effectiveness. In conjunction with the book, Volden has helped create TheLawmakers.org, a database that allows users to explore the effectiveness of members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
 Starting with the premise that some members of Congress are more effective as lawmakers than are others, Volden and Wiseman develop Legislative Effectiveness Scores for each member of the U.S. House from the early 1970s through the present. They showcase how this measure, and the study of effective lawmaking more generally, sheds new light on the most important topics of legislative politics, including: how parties influence legislative policymaking, the strategies that women and African Americans adopt in Congress to promote their policy goals, and how entrepreneurial lawmakers can develop issue expertise to overcome party polarization and policy gridlock. Ultimately focusing on the twenty most effective representatives of the past 40 years, Volden and Wiseman identify a collection of strategies and habits that legislators can use to become effective lawmakers, and discuss how American voters can focus on legislative effectiveness to promote a better democracy.

Members – Free

Non-Members – $10.00


6:30 – 7:00 PM

7:00 – 7:45PM

7:45 – 8:00PM

RSVP Required


February 17, 2016
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Yale Club Library (4th Floor)
Yale Club Library (4th Floor)
50 Vanderbilt Ave , 10017 United States
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