Course Details

910: We Know Congress Has Been Awful, But Why?

February 4-7, 2019
11:45 AM - 1:15 PM

That Congress is dysfunctional and hyper-partisan is no longer news. Indeed, the well-received book on Congress by Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein is titled "It’s Even Worse Than It Looks." We will take off from their book in order to better understand how the performance of Congress relates to congressional rules and procedures, incentives of members, elections, and the broader political environment. Additionally, we will cover the role of other key participants, particularly the President and lobbyists. Finally, we'll discuss how all these elements have changed over the last 30 years.

Class Format: Lecture and Discussion

Hours of Reading: Less than 1 hour/session

Study Group Leader(s):

Mark Nadel
Mark Nadel taught political science at Cornell University, Johns Hopkins, and Georgetown. He most recently was a Senior Fellow at the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University, lecturing and running education programs to educate federal government officials about Congress.

Reading List:

It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism, Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein. Basic Books, 2018, ISBN: Unknown.
Latest ed., April 2016 paperback