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 Legislative Effectiveness, Progressive Ambition, and Electoral Success Research Are effective state lawmakers more likely than ineffective state lawmakers to be elected to Congress? Our findings offer important insights into how American federalism contributes to representation by effective lawmakers. 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? Effective Lawmaking in Virginia: Past, Present and Future News This week’s Batten Hour featured Bill Howell, former Speaker of the House of Delegates, and David Toscano, former House Minority Leader, in a discussion about how the legislature is addressing past, present and future policy challenges. Their discussion was moderated by Craig Volden, professor of public policy and politics and co-director of the Center for Effective Lawmaking. Improving Expertise of Congressional Staff News In an op-ed published in The Messenger, Craig Volden and Alan E. Wiseman of the Center for Effective Lawmaking write that without proper career training for congressional staffers, expertise gaps on Capitol Hill will continue to be problematic.