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Program on Legislative Negotiation

American University President Sylvia Burwell speaks at the head of a table to a group of people.

We are pleased to announce the winners of our 2019-2020 Understanding Legislative Negotiation grants.

With support from the Madison Initiative of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, American University’s 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:

  1. Provide negotiation training for legislative members and their staffs
  2. Train students and professionals through experiential learning programs
  3. Facilitate and apply research on effective legislative negotiation
  4. Build a community of scholars, journalists, policymakers, and others who share these goals

Specifically, the program features:

  • An AUWCL/SPA $100,000 research grant program and research conference on the study of more effective legislative negotiation
  • Six core and advanced legislative staff trainings on Capitol Hill developed/piloted by the Harvard Kennedy School and taught by PLN bipartisan former senior House and Senate staff, and faculty who also teach at the Harvard Kennedy School
  • AUWCL/SPA legislative negotiation courses for legislative members/staff, professionals, and students

2nd Understanding Legislative Negotiation Conference

American University’s Program on Legislative Negotiation, the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, and the Hewlett Foundation’s US Democracy Program hosted the 2nd Understanding Legislative Negotiation Conference (ULNC) on October 7, 2022.  

This invitation-only conference built on the 2021 ULNC, the 2019 ULN Dinner, and the 2020 Understanding Legislative Negotiation small grant program (ULN). We highlighted the research of the 2020 ULN awardees, and their work is described on the program below. 

This conference featured a keynote presentation by former U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). Watch the recording of this conference here.


2019-2020 Understanding Legislative Negotiation Grant Recipients

Prof. Allida Black, University of Virginia (@allidablack):
In the Shadow of 9/11: The Bipartisan Negotiations to Rebuild and Restore Lower Manhattan

Prof. Nadia Brown, Purdue University (@BrownPhDGirl), Prof. Christopher Clark, University of North Carolina and Prof. Anna Mahoney, Tulane University (@Annammahoney):
Bridges: How Black Women Coordinate Lawmaking Efforts of Identity-Based Caucuses

Prof. Allison Craig, University of Texas-Austin (@alisonwcraig):
The Collaborative Congress: How Negotiation and Compromise Shape Day-to-Day Work in the U.S. House of Representatives

Prof. James Curry, University of Utah (@UofUPolScience) and Prof. Jason Roberts, University of North Carolina (@ProfJRoberts):
Personal Relationships and Legislative Negotiation in the U.S. Congress

Prof. Matthew Green, Catholic University of America (@mattngreen):
When do Legislative Negotiations Succeed? A Case Study Approach

PhD Candidate Gwen Calais-Haase, Harvard University (@gwenaelle_ch):
The Hidden Lawmaking Process of the U.S. Congress

Prof. Adam Zelizer, University of Chicago(@AdamZelizer), Prof. Mehdi Shadmehr, University of Calgary(@ShadmehrMehdi), and Prof. Elizabeth Dorssom, University of Missouri(@EDorssom):
Higher Order Beliefs in a Legislature: An RCT to Test the Effects of Political Information on Bill Support Among State Legislators