Political Science Now

Video: 2015 Gladys M. Kammerer Award

The Gladys M. Kammerer Award is given for the best book in the field of U.S. national policy. The Recipients are Craig Volden, University of Virginia and Alan Wiseman, Vanderbilt University for Legislative Effectiveness in the United States Congress: The Lawmakers, Cambridge University Press.

In their excellent book, Volden and Wiseman explore the determinants of variation in legislative effectiveness among members of the US House of Representatives, as well as the consequences of legislative effectiveness for the policy process in Congress. Moving beyond lawmakers as re-election seekers, this book stands as a corrective to the scarcity of research on legislative effectiveness, which is a key factor in determining the degree to which Congress can respond to the demands of the American public.

Volden and Wiseman make a major contribution to our understanding of the determinants and effects of legislative effectiveness; they help us to understand a policy process at the national level in the United States that has been characterized by gridlock and polarization. In an era in which “getting things done” in Congress is so difficult, it is important to study which legislators are able to overcome impediments and navigate the congressional lawmaking process successfully.

Thanks to the Award Committee: Caroline Tolbert, University of Iowa, chair; James Garrand, Louisiana State University; and Cathy Johnson, Williams College.