Congress is back in town. Here’s why lawmakers will struggle to get much done. Sep 12, 2019 BY CRAIG VOLDEN AND ALAN E. WISEMAN Congress is back in town. Here’s why lawmakers will struggle to get much done. Craig Volden Craig Volden is a professor of public policy and politics, with appointments in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics. He studies legislative politics and the interaction among political institutions, including within American federalism. Read full bio Related Content Craig Volden 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. Party Calls and Reelection in the US Senate Research Minozzi and Volden advance the idea that a substantial portion of partisan voting activity in Congress is a simple call to unity that is especially easily embraced by ideological extremists. If correct, Minozzi and Volden’s findings should extend from the House to the Senate, despite differences in institutional structures and in tools at the disposal of party leaders across the two chambers. Coronavirus policies spread quickly across the U.S. Are cities and states learning — or just copying? News As the novel coronavirus has spread across U.S. cities and states, so have public policies aimed at stopping the pandemic. Batten's Craig Volden and co-author Charles R. Shipan examine how some states have learned from others’ policy successes, while others simply copy their neighbors or even compete against them, and why that matters. Productive Politicians Fare Better in Primaries News Now that Super Tuesday is behind us, voters can look forward to another primary in the spring – this time for Congressional candidates. As a professor of public policy and politics at the Batten School and co-director of the Center for Effective Lawmaking, Craig Volden has studied what factors make for a successful candidate and drawn some conclusions about this state’s congressional delegation.