JOP Blogpost

Which legislators are more effective lawmakers when there is no majority party? The answer may surprise you.

What explains legislative effectiveness in presidential systems where executives often lack majority support in the legislature? In most presidential democracies, executives are the primary lawmakers and agenda-setters. Yet, we know little about the relative significance of bills produced by individual legislators, nor their ability to advance them through the legislative process. Drawing on data from …

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Not in My Backyard? Wind Power Benefits Pro-Renewables Democrats in Congress

Accelerating the adoption of renewable energy is vital for the fight against climate change. But domestic political support for transitioning toward sustainable energy is far from guaranteed. Renewable energy infrastructure, such as wind turbines, delivers broad socioeconomic benefits but the costs are often concentrated. These perceived local costs could create powerful interest groups and coalitions …

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How wartime legacies can undermine democratic quality after civil war

Elections are cornerstones for societies transitioning from civil war to democracy. The success or failure of these elections is shaped by the strategies former rebels employ to mobilize voters. Of those strategies, clientelism is particularly important. Clientelism denotes a strategy in which political elites target potential voters with selective goods, such as vote buying or …

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Shifiting Public Opinion, But Not Mobilizing Americans: The importance of Municipal Policing Practices

The Black Lives Matter Movement is officially more than a decade old. In its longevity, it has proven itself an enduring force in American politics. It has certainly been an enduring force in the research trajectory that has led to our new Journal of Politics piece: “Contact and Context: How Municipal Traffic Stops Shape Citizen …

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The Primary Path for Turning Legislative Effectiveness into Electoral Success

Effective lawmakers are the workhorses of the U.S. Congress, but does this legislative effort translate into electoral success? That is, are members of Congress rewarded at the ballot box for the work that they put into advancing their bills through the lawmaking process? In today’s polarized political climate, gridlock is pervasive and elected officials are …

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Why doesn´t Congress preempt the president´s unilateral policies?

When is policy made unilaterally rather than legislatively? Previous work focuses on the president’s so-called “first-mover advantage”, by which the president can issue an executive order and force other actors to respond. But in many notable cases, the president has moved second. Specifically, Congress often has had an opportunity to pass legislation first, after which …

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