The Communication of Ideas across Subfields in Political Science Apr 15, 2014 By Craig VoldenErin R. GrahamCharles R. Shipan The Communication of Ideas across Subfields in Political Science What factors inhibit or facilitate cross-subfi eld conversations in political science? This article draws on diff usion scholarship to gain insight into cross-subfi eld communication. Diffusion scholarship represents a case where such communication might be expected, given that similar diff usion processes are analyzed in American politics, comparative politics, and international relations. We identify nearly 800 journal articles published on diffusion within political science between 1958 and 2008. Using network analysis we investigate the degree to which three “common culprits”—terminology, methodological approach, and journal type—influence levels of integration. We fi nd the highest levels of integration among scholars using similar terms to describe diff usion processes, sharing a methodological approach (especially in quantitative scholarship), and publishing in a common set of subfield journals. These findings shed light on when cross-subfield communication is likely to occur with ease and when barriers may prove prohibitive. PS: Political Science and Politics PS: Political Science and Politics Craig Volden Craig Volden is a professor of public policy and politics at the University of Virginia, with appointments in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the Department of Politics. He studies the politics of public policy, with a focus on what policy choices arise within legislative institutions and within American federalism. He is founder and co-director of the Center for Effective Lawmaking. Read full bio Erin R. Graham Charles R. Shipan Related Content Craig Volden The Primary Path for Turning Legislative Effectiveness into Electoral Success Research Effective lawmakers are the workhorses of the US Congress, yet we know little about the electoral payoffs of their efforts. Are effective lawmakers better at warding off challengers in the next election? Do they win at a greater rate? Spatial Models of Legislative Effectiveness Research Spatial models of policymaking have evolved from the median voter theorem through the inclusion of institutional considerations such as political parties, committees, and various voting and amendment rules. Such models, however, implicitly assume that no policy is more effective than another at solving public policy problems and that all proposers are equally capable of advancing proposals. Bipartisanship the “secret sauce” for effective lawmaking, despite rising polarization in Congress News Despite perceptions that Congress is dominated by partisan interests, a new study from the Center for Effective Lawmaking -- co-directed by Batten professor Craig Volden -- finds that legislators who draw in cosponsors from both sides of the aisle are more effective. Highlights from the New 117th Congress Legislative Effectiveness Scores News Reps. Gerald Connolly, D-VA, and Don Bacon, R-NE, and Sens. Gary Peters, D-MI, and John Cornyn, R-TX, top their respective lists of the most effective Democratic and Republican lawmakers in the recently completed 117th Congress (2021–23), according to the latest round of legislative effectiveness scores compiled by the Center for Effective Lawmaking released March 20.