Post-Election Wrap Up with Craig Volden Nov 13, 2018 By Molly Hannon Post-Election Wrap Up with Craig Volden On Monday, Nov. 12, Batten students gathered in the Great Hall of Garrett Hall for a post-election wrap-up led by Batten’s Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL). This was not a typical Batten Hour with the exception that food was served. Rather, the event was reminiscent of a game of musical chairs. Every eight minutes, students moved to a new table, where CEL Director Craig Volden, Operations Director Greer Kelly, CEL researchers and interns, along with Professor of Practice of Public Policy Gerald Warburg, discussed the implications of last Tuesday's midterm election results. What do election campaigns tell us about the likelihood of effective lawmaking? What are some of the opportunities for reform and policymaking in the new Congress? How can members of the public help new members of Congress become more effective lawmakers? These were just some of the questions posed to students during the allotted eight-minute segments. CEL Director Craig Volden The Center for Effective Lawmaking, while a nascent research center at the Batten School, has made inroads since its inception in fall 2017. The center, run by Volden and Alan Wiseman of Vanderbilt University, seeks to advance the generation, communication, and use of new knowledge about the effectiveness of individual lawmakers and legislative institutions in Congress. The center strives to create a Congress comprised of effective lawmakers with strong institutional capacity and the incentive structure needed to address America’s greatest public policy challenges. For a school of public policy, this is an invaluable resource. Monday’s Batten hour demonstrated the center's range when it comes to examining the habits that breed effective lawmaking. How does an election and its aftermath both influence and impact lawmaking—for better or for worse? “These wide-ranging discussions between the Center for Effective Lawmaking and members of the Batten and Charlottesville communities provided numerous valuable insights,” Volden said. “During the discussions, we heard suggestions about bringing our work to the attention of additional audiences, about providing support to new members of Congress, and about some new directions for research. At the same time, participants were able to glean insights about what to expect from lawmaking in the new Congress.” As the dust settles from last Tuesday's midterm election, the question of what's next for Congress looms large. For students of public policy, those questions beget more questions — making a Batten hour of this nature pertinent and beneficial for students eager to discuss the implications of the midterm results. Batten Professor of Practice of Public Policy Gerald Warburg "The benefit here was that I was able to give them a specific synthesis of what Democrats, Republicans and Trump administration officials have told me are their goals," Warburg said. "By making events that will impact students' lives greatly more accessible, I believe we empower them as learners. [We] teach better when we press students to form their own focused questions and to commit to life-long learning to address them as good citizens, and not just regurgitate approved answers to get a good grade." 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 Gerald Warburg Warburg teaches courses at the Batten School on Congress, U.S. foreign policy and advocacy strategies. He is the lead faculty member in the Batten School massive open online course (MOOC) “Public Policy Challenges of the 21st Century,” which is available on Coursera. 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. How Women Leaders Can Enhance Rulemaking In The Biden Administration News How can the Biden-Harris team increase its odds for regulatory success? According to research from Batten’s Craig Volden and co-author Rachel Augustine Potter, the new administration can accomplish policy change by hiring women leaders and establishing supportive work environments. Focus on Cabinet Nominees' Effectiveness and Expertise, Not Just Ideology News As President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet nominees have been named, much of the discussion has been about their ideological leanings. In an article for The Hill, Batten's Craig Volden and Vanderbilt University's Alan E. Wiseman, co-directors of the Center for Effective Lawmaking, outline why these ideological discussions are too narrow a focus. Gerald Warburg Dispatches from the Eastern Front: A Political Education from the Nixon Years to the Age of Obama Research A naïve undergraduate is transported from a small California town to the intensely competitive world of Capitol Hill policymaking. Gerald Felix Warburg’s memoir is not just a story about four decades in Washington, although a life spent as a House of Representatives and Senate staffer, and as a lobbyist and professor, provides remarkable insight into the struggles, the strategies, and the people of the U.S. capital. Nonprofileration Policy Crossroads Research On October 1, 2008, Congress enacted a proposal that originated with President George W. Bush in 2005 to approve an unprecedented nuclear trade pact with India by removing a central pillar of US nonproliferation policy. Despite the numerous political challenges confronting the Bush administration, the initiative won strong bipartisan support, including votes from Democratic Senators Joseph Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama. Photos: Daily Academic Life at UVA in the COVID-19 Era News University photographers take a look at in-person learning on Grounds, including Batten students and professors in the classroom, during a fall semester shaped by the ongoing pandemic. Learn How In-Person Instruction Is Going at the University of Virginia News UVA unveiled a new style of classroom teaching Sept. 8. See how three professors, including Batten's Gerald Warburg, are navigating the experience.