Annual Review: 2021-2022

Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies 2022 Annual Report (Condensed)

Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies 2022 Annual Report (Condensed) In 2022, CCPS continued pursuing our mission of strengthening the democratic square through research, training institutes, and public events. Below, we describe our specific program activities.

I. Institutes

  • Campaign Management Institute- Led by Candice J. Nelson, the Campaign Management Institute (CMI) continued its longstanding commitment to train individuals for participation in local, state and federal political campaigns. Its two sessions, one in January and one in May, trained 26 students and working professionals in campaign techniques, strategy, and tactics with emphasis on recent technological developments.  
  • The Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute- Led by Patrick Griffin and Laura Uttley, the Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute (PAAI) continued its advanced workshops in December and May, focusing on major aspects of professional lobbying and political influence. Featuring dozens of prominent professional lobbyists representing corporations, trade and professional associations, public interest groups, and labor unions, the PAAI trained forty students and working professionals to better represent organized interests to the federal government. In 2022, Laura Uttley took on the role of Co-Director of the Institute. Uttley leverages over 10 years’ experience in federal policy and government relations. Laura is also the Director of Government Relations for the Woodwell Climate Research Center, where she develops federal advocacy strategies and facilitates outreach to congressional and federal policymakers in Washington, DC, positioning Woodwell Climate’s leading research to influence policy development and implementation.
  • European Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute- The European Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute (EPAAI), directed by Professor Korneliya Bachiyska, is a joint venture of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies and the American University Brussels Center. This unique institute introduces students to the art and craft of lobbying in the European Union. During a week in Brussels, Belgium, students are immersed in the strategies, tactics, methods, techniques, regulations and ethics of lobbying in Europe. Drawing on their rich body of experiences, prominent lobbyists involved in all aspects of their profession offer lectures on such topics as EU legal systems, rulemaking, EU relations with national capitals, EU-US relations and comparisons between US and European policymaking. EPAAI also includes a thorough introduction to the EU institutions. After a pandemic related hiatus, the EPAAI returned in 2022, training seven students.
  • Legislative Negotiation Institute- The Legislative Negotiation Institute (LNI) is a joint program with AU’s Washington College of Law, in collaboration with Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. It is a component of the Program on Legislative Negotiation, which trains policymakers on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures to negotiate more effectively.  Directed by longtime US Senate staffer and current Professor of Law Bettina Poirier with extensive participation from other experienced Hill negotiators, the LNI provides MA students, Law students, and working policy professionals with even greater hands-on instruction on how to maximize bargaining prowess than is afforded by the PLN trainings on Capitol Hill.

II. Externally Funded Research and Training Programs

  • Program on Legislative Negotiation: With support from the Madison Initiative of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Program on Legislative Negotiation (PLN) addresses legislative gridlock so that our representatives can better respond to today’s challenges The PLN is a joint endeavor of American University’s (AU) Washington College of Law (AUWCL) and the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at the AU School of Public Affairs (SPA).

The PLN’s four primary objectives are to provide negotiation training for legislative members and their staffs, train students and professionals through experiential learning programs, facilitate and apply research on effective legislative negotiation, and build a community of scholars, journalists, policymakers, and others who share these goals.In 2022, the PLN’s initial seven research grantees completed their work, which has been featured in several publications. On October 7, 2022, CCPS hosted the 2nd Understanding Legislative Negotiation Conference (ULNC), which highlighted the research of the seven 2020 ULN awardees.

  • New Perspectives in Studies of American Governance: With support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and in partnership with Purdue University, the New Perspectives in Studies of American Governance program seeks to expand the notoriously restricted range of theoretical, methodological, and demographic perspectives represented in scholarship pertaining to the US executive and legislative branches. The NP incentivizes emerging scholars to broaden the range of perspectives and experiences upon which they draw when pursuing insight into American governance at the federal level.  

Specifically, CCPS disbursed funds to seven new projects (11 total recipients) that are seeking to transform political scientists’ collective understanding of American governance and representation. We also co-edited a Special Issue of Congress and the Presidency.

  • The Correspondence of Zachary Taylor & Millard Fillmore Project: The Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, in 2020, launched the Correspondence of Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore. This project aims to locate and publish letters of the two men from 1844 to 1853, before and during their presidencies. It is led by two CCPS fellows: Editor and Research Professor of Government Michael David Cohen and Associate Editor Amy Larrabee Cotz. The edition they produce enable scholars, teachers, students, and the public to learn about American life and the presidency before the Civil War from the words of these leaders and their diverse correspondents.

In 2022, the Correspondence of Zachary Taylor & Millard Fillmore Project received a $77,750 grant from the National Historical Publications and Research Commission. This grant supports work including the publishing of five articles on the project blog, which was featured in FeedSpot’s list of the “70 Best American History Blogs and Websites” and the hiring of SPA graduate students Nicholas Breslin and Mercedes Atwater as editorial assistants.

Additionally, in 2022, the Correspondence of Zachary Taylor & Millard Fillmore Project published a high school teaching guide, featuring previously unpublished Fillmore letters, on the US annexation of Texas and contributed research to Jeopardy! for a clue in the category “A Few Moments with Millard Fillmore,” airing Mar. 14, 2022 (the experience was profiled in American Magazine).

III. Congress and the Presidency Journal. In the past year, the Congress & the Presidency Journal, marked a significant milestone by publishing its 50th volume by staff including Book Editor Jeffrey Crouch, Reviews & Book Editor Adam L. Warber, and Managing Editor Ryan DeTamble. The first issue offered a broad spectrum of content, covering topics ranging from federal drone strike oversight to the implications of Fenno's paradox. The second issue was a Special Issue that prioritized underrepresented aspects of diversity in the scholarship on U.S legislative and executive branches. The Congress & the Presidency Journal is also excited to announce that this year, they have created the James A. Thurber Article of the Year Award. The committee will select the best article from the 49th volume on the bases of originality, rigor, clarity, relevance, and argumentation, and the announcement will be made early in the Fall semester. Additionally, they are delighted to welcome a selective group of new members to our respected editorial board, whose names will be disclosed in the coming weeks. We remain committed to our mission of providing top-tier scholarly work on the U.S. government's first and second branches. The contributors, hailing from political science and history, continue to maintain our journal's reputation for high-quality academic content.

IV. Thurber Dialogues on Democracy. The Dialogues began in early 2021 with a generous gift from Distinguished University Emeritus Professor Jim Thurber and his wife Claudia Thurber. Now in its 3rd year, this ongoing series of public conversations with prominent thought leaders about how to strengthen democracy in the US and abroad continued on in 2022, featuring:

  • Rep. Adam Schiff, March 31, 2022, Co-hosted by CCPS and KPU and moderated by Professor Emeritus James Thurber. The recording of this event is available here.

Congressman Adam Schiff represents California’s 28th Congressional District. In his 11th term in the House of Representatives, Schiff currently serves as the Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which oversees the nation’s intelligence agencies. Schiff is on a leave of absence from the House Appropriations Committee, where he remains an ex officio member. He is also the author of Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could.

  • Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, April 19, 2022, Co-hosted by CCPS and KPU and moderated by AU Professor Liz Suhay. The recording of this event is available here.Congressman Hakeem Jeffries represents the diverse 8th Congressional District of New York, an area that encompasses large parts of Brooklyn and a section of Queens. Serving his fifth term in the United States Congress, Rep. Jeffries is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and House Budget Committee. He is also Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, having been elected to that position by his colleagues in November 2018. In thatcapacity, he is the fifth highest-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives. He is also the former Whip of the Congressional Black Caucus and previously co-chaired the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee where he helped develop the For The People agenda.
  • Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, May 5, 2022. Hosted by CCPS and moderated by AU Professor Laura Paler. The recording of this event is available here. Harvard University political scientists Professor Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt discussed their 2018 New York Times Best Seller, How Democracies Die, and broader themes of their work in recent events.
  • Jonah Goldberg, November 29, 2022, hosted by CCPS and moderated by Senior Editor and Correspondent on the Washington Desk for NPR News and AU SPA Executive in Residence and Professorial Lecturer Ron Elving. The recording of this event is available here.Jonah Goldberg is the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and a Fellow at the National Review Institute. He has been a weekly columnist for the Los Angeles Times since 2005 and a nationally syndicated columnist since 2000. He hosts the popular podcast The Remnant with Jonah Goldberg. His syndicated column appears regularly in the Chicago TribuneNew York PostDallas Morning News and scores of other papers. He has written three books, Liberal FascismThe Tyranny of Clichés, and Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics Is Destroying American Democracy.

V. Other Conferences, Public Events, Lectures, and Trainings

VI. Prizes/Scholarships:

  • Gill Family Foundation Scholarship- The Gill Family Foundation announces a $5,500 scholarship for dissertation support to a PhD student working on a dissertation in the areas of American Politics, Comparative Politics, Public Administration, or Policy Analysis at American University using quantitative methods.
  • The James and Claudia Thurber Scholarship Endowment- American University honors the legacy of Professor James Thurber as he closes his 37-year tenure as director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies (CCPS) with the creation of the James and Claudia Thurber Scholarship Endowment.
  • CCPS Benefactor’s Award for the Campaign Management Institute, Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute Benefactors Award and European Public Affairs and Advocacy Margery Kraus Award- The Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies has established an award fund for the Campaign Management Institute, the Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute, and the European Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute through the generosity of friends and alumni of the Center. These awards are intended to provide financial assistance to students enrolled in the Institute.
  • Griffin Scholarship for the Public Affairs & Advocacy Institute- Started by PAAI Director Pat Griffin and his wife Abbey, this fund provides up to two $1500 scholarships to students enrolled in the Public Affairs & Advocacy Institute (PAAI).
  • The Annual Barbara Sinclair Lecture- Annually, in partnership with The American Political Science Association, CCPS honors the late political scientist Barbara Sinclair, a renowned expert on Congress, by hosting a lecture by a prominent Congressional scholar. 

VII. New Appointments and Awards:

VIII. Other Sponsored Research

  • CCPS participated again the ongoing Cooperative Congressional Election Study. Data was collected in October 2021 (pre-election) and again in January (post-election).  
  • CCPS sponsored new data collections by two CCPS Fellows (Professors Andrew Ballard and Jan Leighley) and three AU PhD students (Michael Heseltine, Ryan Detamble, and Marcus Johnson)

IX. New Published Research (selected, peer reviewed)

  • Ballard, Andrew, Ryan DeTamble, Spencer Dorsey, Michael Heseltine, and Marcus Johnson. 2022. Incivility in Congressional Tweets. American Politics Research, 50(6): 769-780.
  • Ballard, Andrew. 2022. Bill Text and Agenda Control in the U.S. Congress. The Journal of Politics, 84(1): 335-350.
  • Barker, David C. and Ryan DeTamble. 2022. “American Populism: Dimensions, Distinctions, and Correlates.” Global Public Policy and Governance.
  • Barker, D. C., Carman, Christopher Jan and Shaun Bowler. 2023. Humanitarianism, Egalitarianism, and Public Support for Political Compromise. American Politics Research51(1), 91–107.
  • Bryan, James D. and Jordan Tama. 2022. “The Prevalence of Bipartisanship in U.S. Foreign Policy: An Analysis of Important Congressional Votes,” in Polarization and U.S. Foreign Policy: Ideas, Institutions, and Implications, Special issue of International Politics 59, 5: 874-897
  • Byers, Jason and Jeff Gill. October 2022. “Applied Geospatial Bayesian Modeling in the Big Data Era: Challenges and Solutions.” Mathematics, Probability and Statistics Special Issue on Advances in Statistical Computing.
  • Cao, Jian, Seo-young Silvia Kim, and R. Michael Alvarez. 2022. “Bayesian Analysis of State Voter Registration Database Integrity.” Statistics, Politics and Policy 13(1): 19–40. doi: 10.1515/spp2021-0016.
  • Cohen, Michael, editor. 2022. James K. Polk and His Time: Essays at the Conclusion of the Polk Project. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press.
  • Crouch, Jeffrey. 2022. “The Law: President Trump’s Clemency Record: Extraordinary or Just Ordinary?” Presidential Studies Quarterly 52 (3): 692-708. Edelson, Chris. (2021). No Watchman in the Night: How Presidential and Congressional Responses to the Coronavirus Pandemic Undermine the Hamiltonian–Madisonian model of Accountability. Taylor & Francis.
  • Crouch, Jeffrey. September 5, 2022. “The Nixon Pardon at Nearly Fifty: What President Ford’s Successors Should Learn from His Courageous Clemency Grant.” Ford Leadership Forum, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation.
  • Friedrichs, Gordon and Jordan Tama. 2022. “Polarization and US Foreign Policy: Key Debates and New Findings,” in Polarization and U.S. Foreign Policy: Ideas, Institutions, and Implications, Special issue of International Politics 59, 5: 767-785.
  • Green, Matthew N. and Jeffrey Crouch. August 22, 2022. “Did Newt Gingrich Wreck American Politics?” The Hill.
  • Green, Matthew N. and Jeffrey Crouch. Forthcoming, 2022. “Foreword.” In Tom Foley: The Man in the Middle. R. Kenton Bird and John C. Pierce, Authors. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas
  • Green, Matthew N. and Jeffrey Crouch. July 2022. Newt Gingrich: The Rise and Fall of a Party Entrepreneur. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas.
  • Murr, Andreas, Richard Traunmuler, Jeff Gill. 2022. Computing Quantities of Interest and Their Uncertainty Using Bayesian Simulation. Political Science Research and Methods, 26, 1-10
  • Suhay, Elizabeth. 2022. Human interaction, politics, and democratic reform: Integrating political science with an interpersonal systems approach. Cognition and Emotion 36(8): 1485-1490.
  • Suhay, Elizabeth, Aparna Soni, Claudia Persico, and Dave E. Marcotte. 2022. Americans’ Trust in Government and Health Behavior during the COVID-19 Pandemic. RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences 8(8): 221-244.
  • Suhay, Elizabeth, Mark Tenenbaum, and Austin Bartola. 2022. Explanations for Inequality and Partisan Polarization in the U.S., 1980-2020. The Forum: A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics 20(1): 5-36.
  • Tama, Jordan. 2022. “Congressional Democrats and Republicans Are United in Confronting Russia. That Unity Won’t Last,” Washington Post.
  • Kim, Seo-young Silvia. 2022. “Automatic Voter Reregistration as a Housewarming Gift: Quantifying Causal Effects on Turnout Using Movers.” American Political Science Review. First published online. doi: 10.1017/S0003055422000983.
  • Kim, Seo-young Silvia, and Jan Zilinsky. 2022. “Division Does Not Imply Predictability: Demographics Continue to Reveal Little About Voting and Partisanship.” Political Behavior. First published online. doi: 10.1007/s11109-022-09816-z.
  • Lopez, Jennifer,∗ R. Michael Alvarez, and Seo-young Silvia Kim. 2022. “Latinos, Group Identity, and Equal Opportunity on the 2020 California Ballot.” Social Science Quarterly. First published online. doi: 10.1111/ssqu.13217.
  • Thurber, James A. 2022. Rivals for Power: Presidential-Congressional Relations. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 7th edition.

X. Community Engagement:

  • Reached almost 600 Twitter followers, over 1,000 LinkedIn connections, and expanded our email listserv to 3,500
  • We established a new collaborative partnership with the Center for Effective Lawmaking at the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University/

Annual Review: 2020-2021

Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies 2021 Annual Report (Condensed)

In 2021, CCPS continued pursuing our mission of strengthening the democratic square through research, training institutes, and public events. Specifically, we accomplished the following items:

External Grants Received:

Scholarly Conferences Hosted:

  • The “New Perspectives and New Questions in Legislative Studies” virtual conference with Valeria Sinclair-Chapman (Professor of Political Science, Purdue University) and Bettina Poirier (Professor of Law and Director of AU’s Program on Legislative Negotiation) with support from the Hewlett Foundation’s US Democracy Program; this conference aimed to foster innovation and collaboration on new lines of legislative scholarship that reflect the broadening perspectives of American lawmakers (and the constituents they serve)
  • The Understanding Legislative Negotiation virtual conference with American University’s Program on Legislative Negotiation and the Hewlett Foundation’s US Democracy Program

Public Events Hosted:

Research Supported:

  • Announced The New Perspectives in Studies of American Governance small grants program, which will award 5-10 grants (up to $20,000 each) to new projects asking new questions that stand to transform political scientists’ collective understanding of American governance and representation
  • Announced a special issue of Congress and the Presidency, guest-edited by David C. Barker and Valeria Sinclair-Chapman (Purdue University), on “New Perspectives in American Legislative Studies”
  • Funded four new survey data collections and research assistance for Andy Ballard, and PhD students Ryan DeTamble, Michael Heseltine, and Marcus Johnson
  • Hired five undergraduate researchers under the supervision of Prof. Andy Ballard, including Josh O’Steen, Jane Cronin, Mergentevne Naragerel, Emily Minster, and Finn Dobkin

Prizes/Scholarships Awarded:

Institutes Conducted:

New Published Research

Community Engagement:

  • Reached almost 450 Twitter followers, made almost 300 LinkedIn connections, and expanded our email listserv to 2,700.

New Leadership/Staff:

  • Professor Patrick Griffin, new Director of the Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute
  • Professor Korneliya Bachiyska, new Director of the European Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute
  • Ph.D. candidate Ryan M. DeTamble, new Managing Editor for Congress & the Presidency
  • Amy Larrabee Cotz, new Associate Editor of the Correspondence of Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore Project

The Correspondence of Zachary Taylor & Millard Fillmore project:

  • Received $90,471 from the NHPRC, the Summerlee Foundation, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and the University of Virginia as part of its NHPRC/Mellon Foundation–funded UVA Digital Publishing Cooperative
  • Welcomed Amy Cotz as associate editor, five new undergraduate students as interns and hired SPA’s Alaysia Bookal as editorial assistant
  • Published six blog articles and Professor Michael Cohen wrote an op-ed about Taylor for the Baton Rouge Advocate’s Presidents’ Day issue

ANNUAL REVIEW: 2019-2020 (In Brief)

It was another active and productive year for CCPS. Specifically, from September 2019 to December 2020, we:

  • Awarded over $100,000 in small research grants to 7 research teams, to study legislative negotiation
  • Created the Legislative Negotiation Institute for students and professionals, and conducted first round of trainings

ANNUAL REVIEW: 2018-19 (In Brief)

It was another active and productive year for CCPS. Specifically, from September 2018 to July 2019, we:

The inaugural year of Professor Barker’s directorship was active and productive. Specifically, from September to June, we: