Faculty Profile

Craig Volden

Professor of Public Policy and Politics

Photo ofCraig  Volden
Garrett 203

Craig Volden is a professor of public policy and politics, with appointments in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics.  He studies legislative politics and the interaction among political institutions, with a focus on what policy choices arise from legislative-executive relations and from American federalism. 

Before joining the Batten School, Prof. Volden taught at the Ohio State University, the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, and Claremont Graduate University.  His major work, Revolving Gridlock, co-authored with David Brady, explores the conditions under which members of Congress are able to overcome the constraints that frequently produce policy gridlock.  He has published numerous articles in such journals as: American Political Science Review; American Journal of Political Science; Journal of Politics; Legislative Studies Quarterly; Journal of Law, Economics & Organization; and Publius: The Journal of Federalism.

His current projects include studies of innovation and policy diffusion across states and localities, an examination of business-government relations regarding product quality regulations, and an analysis of the legislative effectiveness of individual members of Congress.

Selected Recent Publications

The Communication of Ideas across Subfields in Political Science

Volden, Craig, Erin R. Graham & Charles R. Shipan (2014). The Communication of Ideas across Subfields in Political Science. PS: Political Science and Politics. 47(2): 468-476. read more »

Who Heeds the Call of the Party in Congress?

Volden, Craig, and William Minozzi (2013). Who Heeds the Call of the Party in Congress? The Journal of Politics, Vol. 75, No. 3, Pp. 787-802. read more »

The Diffusion of Policy Diffusion Research in Political Science

 Erin R. Graham, Charles R. Shipan and Craig Volden (2013). The Diffusion of Policy Diffusion Research in Political Science. British Journal of Political Science, 43, pp 673-701. doi:10.1017/S0007123412000415. read more »

When Are Women More Effective Lawmakers Than Men?

Craig Volden, University of Virginia, Alan E. Wiseman, Vanderbilt University, Dana E. Wittmer, Colorado College, "When Are Women More Effective Lawmakers Than Men?" American Journal of Political Science, 2013 read more »



Brady, David W., and Craig Volden.  2006.  Revolving Gridlock: Politics and Policy from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush.  Boulder: Westview Press.

Related News & Events

Soon after the shutdown ended, the Scholars Strategy Network released a brief by political scientists Craig Volden of the University of Virginia and Alan Wiseman of Vanderbilt University showing that women are more effective legislators than their male counterparts. read more »

In our recent research, we studied the lawmaking effectiveness of men and women in the U.S. House of Representatives since the 1970s. We found that, controlling for factors from being in the majority party to seniority to committee positions; women were more effective on average than men. But the strongest effect was for women in the minority party. Unlike men, who tended to obstruct, women continued a focus on advancing policy. They built coalitions and sought consensus across party lines. And their efforts were rewarded. read more »

Congratulations to the following Batten faculty and alumni presenting at the annual APPAM Research Conference November 7-9, 2013: Jennifer Doleac: The Visible Hand: Race and Online Market Outcomes, Saturday, November 9, 2013 : 3:50 PM read more »

The last several decades have seen a significant rise in the number of women gaining access to political institutions in the United States. Since the early 1970s women have increased their numbers in Congress by more than sixfold, and now hold 18 percent of the seats in the House and 20 percent of the seats in the Senate. While still far short of parity, the increase in female representation has spurred many questions about what differences, if any, exist between male and female legislators. read more »

Over the past several years, Craig Volden of the Batten School has been researching the legislative effectiveness of members of the House read more »

It's not just that women provide role models for the next generation, it's also that they focus more on consensus-building over fierce partisan activity, according to an April 2013 article in the American Journal of Political Science by Craig Volden. read more »

In Q&A, Richard M. Valelly, Swarthmore College, cited Craig Volden's research on political gridlock read more »

Craig Volden discusses on MSNBC's The Cyle read more »

New York Times article cites Craig Volden's AJPS research on "When Are Women More Effective Lawmakers Than Men?" read more »

Organizer and campaign co-leader, Lena Shi, is a fourth-year global development studies major in the College who is also earning a master’s of public policy from the Batten School read more »