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Last Updated 4/24/12
Final Papers are due May 1st at 1pm in Anderson 234!
Selected as 2012-2013 Fellow, American Political Science
Association Congressional Fellowship Program.
The Dirksen Congressional Center awarded their 2010
Congressional Research Grant for my dissertation, Cycles of Opposition: Reform
Politics and Congressional Development, 1879-2010.
I was awarded the H. Douglas Price American Politics Research Grant for my dissertation.
Research and Teaching
I am generally interested in American institutions and
politics, empirical theory, American political development,
and political behavior. More specifically, my research
currently focuses on congressional politics, legislative
procedure and its development, the presidency, voting
behavior, political parties, and the separation of powers.
Cycles of Opposition: Reform Politics and Congressional
The study of congressional development lies at the
intersection of members’ socialization in Congress and their
rational attempts to alter its design. The ability to change
the legislative process to suit political goals and motives is
a subject at the heart of political behavior,
institutionalism, and the relationship between Congress and
its constituents. This project links disparate eras of
congressional reform into a larger narrative of institutional
change. Collecting data in newspaper archives, this project
chronicles successful and unsuccessful attempts to reform
Congress’s process to illustrate when stable legislative
processes are dismantled to create new congressional eras.
Peer Reviewed Articles
Huder, Joshua, Jordan Ragusa, and Daniel Smith. In Press.
"The Initiative to Shirk? Statewide Ballot Measures and
Congressional Voting Behavior," American Politics Research. The gated
version can be found here.
For over a century, the federal government has responded, either directly or indirectly, to the passage of statewide ballot measures. But do statewide ballot measures affect congressional voting behavior? Drawing on an original dataset, we investigate whether successful statewide ballot measures might inform the legislative behavior of members of Congress, specifically if the passage of gay marriage, campaign finance, and minimum wage initiatives indirectly influence members’ floor votes on similar pieces of legislation. Theoretically, we are interested in whether ballot measures—which provide precise information about the median preferences of a member’s constituency—help reduce policy “shirking” by members of Congress. Our findings across three issues in both chambers of Congress indicate that the passage of ballot measures by a member’s constituency may alter a member’s floor vote in the House on parallel legislation, reducing legislative shirking, but that such an effect is attenuated in the Senate by other factors.