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Policy Briefs

The mission of CSDI is to develop an intellectual community that can provide insights into how different political institutions can better effectively structure political debate, ameliorate conflicts, and influence policy outcomes. In keeping with this mission, the CSDI Policy Brief Series draws on the collective expertise of CSDI-affiliated faculty at Vanderbilt University to present timely, and policy-relevant analysis that helps illuminate various perspectives on contemporary policy debates and provides guidance on policy options if appropriate. These briefs will be published throughout the year, and they engage the wide range of topics that are studied by CSDI: Legislative Politics and Policymaking, Executive Politics and Regulatory Policymaking, Elections and Electoral Rules, and the role of Media in Democratic Systems of Governance.

Policy Brief Number Policy Brief Title
2014-03 The Irony of Congressional Oversight
2014-02 Partisan Conflict and Government Reform
2014-01 Managing Complex Civil Litigation: The Consolidation of Pending Federal Lawsuits
2013-08 How Presidents Choose Appointees:  Ideology, Expertise or Patronage?
2013-07 Adjudicating the Commerce Clause: How Price Effects Can Help to Evaluate State "Wine Wars"
2013-06 The Effects of Third-Party Litigation Funding
2013-05 What Explains Executive Turnover in the Federal Service
2013-04 If the Victors Get the Spoils, What Do Citizens Get?
2013-03 Can the Media Influence the Voting Behavior of Legislators?
2013-02 The Legislative Productivity of Congressional Women: Understanding When Women are Effective Lawmakers
2013-01 Does the Public Use Information to Hold Elected Officials Accountable for Educational Performance?

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Upcoming Events

CSDI Lunch Seminars will resume in January. Enjoy the Holidays!

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Latest Research



6/30/15 CSDI Working Paper 2015-2 titled "Controlling Agency Choke Points: Presidents and Regulatory Personnel Turnover" has been released. The paper is authored by Kathleen M. Doherty, David E. Lewis and Scott Limbocker.

4/1/15 CSDI Working Paper 2015-1 titled"Incorporating Legislative Effectiveness into Nonmarket Strategy: The Case of Financial Services Reform and the Great Recession"has been released. The paper is authored by Craig Volden and CSDI Affiliate Alan E. Wiseman.

12/19/14 CSDI Working Paper 2014-7 titled ''Spatial Models of Legislative Effectiveness''has been released. The paper is authored by Matthew P. HittCraig Volden, and CSDI Affiliate Alan E. Wiseman.

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Media Spotlight - 8/19/15 - CSDI Co-Director Josh Clinton, graduate affiliate Carrie Roush, and Dr. John Lapinski, Director of the Elections Unit at NBC news take a closer look at Trump supporters.

Washington Post - 8/3/15 - CSDI Co-Director David Lewis and graduate affiliate Mark Richardson's Survey on the Future of Government Service is examined - 7/22/15 - CSDI Co-director John Geer is quoted in an article about Donald Trump's participation in the upcoming republican presidential debate in Cleveland.

The Fiscal Times - 7/20/15 - CSDI Co-Director David Lewis is quoted in an article about Jeb Bush's plan to reduce the federal workforce.

Newsweek -7/17/15 - CSDI Co-Director David Lewis discusses "How to Keep Good People Working in Government."

Tennessean - 7/10/15 - CSDI Co-Directors Joshua Clinton and John Geer Op-Ed, "Beware of Internal Polls to Name Nashville's Next Mayor


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Contact the CSDI

The Center for the Study of
Democratic Institutions
Vanderbilt University
PMB 505
230 Appleton Place
Nashville TN 37203

CSDI Poster




Phone: 615.875.6954
Fax: 615.343.6003