American University’s Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies (CCPS) serves scholars, students, policymakers and the public by propelling actionable research, providing public education and promoting a more reasonable democratic square.
CCPS Fellow Donald Wolfensberger's 117th Congress Data Set
View 117th Rules Data
Professor David Barker was interviewed on January 2, 2023 to give a preview of the 118th Congress and prospects for divided government. View the recording below.
The First Annual International Legislators' Forum on Innovations in Democracy Recap
The Legislators’ Forum on Innovations in Democracy was organized by the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), a nonprofit chartered by Congress in 1953 to strengthen civic life in America, the Institute for Democratic Engagement & Accountability (IDEA) at the Ohio State University and the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University.
On November 16, 2022, The Forum brought together 12 U.S. Members of Congress with senators, members of national parliaments, Members of the EU Parliament, and senior staff from the other countries, which also included France, Greece, Italy, and the U.K. Forum participants shared findings and stories from their work to engage citizens in more productive, civil, and meaningful ways.
View Forum Recap
Prof. David Barker and Prof. Liz Suhay's new book, The Politics of Truth in Polarized America, is out now
In American politics, the truth is rapidly losing relevance. The public square is teeming with misinformation, conspiracy theories, cynicism, and hubris. Why has this happened? What does it mean? What can we do about it? In this volume, leading scholars offer multiple perspectives on these questions, and many more, to provide the first comprehensive empirical examination of the "politics of truth" -- its context, causes, and potential correctives. With experts in social science weighing in, this volume examines different drivers such as the dynamics of politically motivated fact perceptions.
Combining insights from the fields of political science, political theory, communication, and psychology and offering substantial new arguments and evidence, these chapters draw compelling -- if sometimes competing -- conclusions regarding this rising democratic threat.
More information available here.
With support from the Hewlett Foundation’s U.S. Democracy Program, the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University was recently awarded a $200,000 grant to promote New Perspectives in Studies of American Governance (NP). The NP program, in partnership with Purdue University, incentivizes emerging scholars to broaden the range of perspectives with respect to gender, race/ethnicity, capacity, and culture when pursuing insight into American governance at the federal level.
Specifically, the NP includes a small grants program for scholars of Congress and the Executive branch, whose research examines new questions and/or does so from a broader point of view than has traditionally been the case in these fields. A call for proposals will be disseminated in coming months.
The Principal Investigators of this program include David Barker, Professor of Government and Director of CCPS, Bettina Poirier, Director of the Program on Legislative Negotiation and Senior Affiliate for WCL, and Valeria Sinclair- Chapman, Professor of Political Science, African American Studies, and Gender & Sexuality Studies at Purdue University. She is also Director of Purdue’s Center for Research on Diversity and Inclusion as well as its Legislative Internship Program.
With a new round of support from the Hewlett Foundation’s U.S. Democracy Program, American University’s Washington College of Law (WCL) and Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies (CCPS) are expanding the Program on Legislative Negotiation (PLN).
The overarching purpose of this program is to create a culture of bipartisan negotiation in Congress and state legislatures via targeted training, educational initiatives, and scholarly research. The PLN will carry out four sets of specific activities over the three-year period covered by this grant, including Congressional staff trainings, experiential learning for students and professionals, new research and dissemination, and building a learning community.
The PLN will continue to be led by Director, Professor Bettina Poirier, a former high-level Capitol Hill staffer, with approximately 15 years of experience in senior roles in the House and Senate.
Professor Poirier will work closely with the Director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies (CCPS), David Barker, who serves as a co-principal investigator on this joint WCL/SPA effort.
AU President Sylvia Burwell has continued to express enthusiastic support for the PLN. AU is committed to ensuring its ongoing vibrancy well beyond the life of this grant.
James Clyburn, U.S. House Majority Whip (D-SC), reflects on his experience and offers his perspective on the Biden administration, the prospects for racial progress, and the state of U.S. democracy
Correspondence of Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore Project
This project locates and publishes letters, from 1844–53, of the twelfth and thirteenth U.S. presidents.
Congress & the Presidency Journal
This publication is an interdisciplinary journal of political science and history, published by American University, Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies since 1984. The journal is now being published three times a year. Congress & the Presidency features articles on Congress, the President, the interaction between the two institutions, and national policy-making.
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