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Join the PIPE Collaborative for a conversation with Carlos Algara (Claremont Graduate U). The discussant for Carlos’s paper is Nicholas Napolio (USC POIR).

Lunch will be provided and set out about 15-20 minutes before the talk begins.

The title of Carlos’s talk and abstract appear below:

Does Military Service Matter? How Veteranship Motivates Legislative Collaboration, Success, & Effectiveness in the U.S. Senate

In what respects does military service matter in the legislative behavior observed in the U.S. Senate? While scholars long posit that the personal backgrounds of political elites shape the legislative behavior of U.S. Senators, relatively little is known to what extent military service influences legislative collaboration and effectiveness. We argue that pre-legislative military service, an intensive personal and professional experience, socializes potential legislators to be effective lawmakers by providing them with critical leadership skills, and a sense of collaboration, needed to work constructively towards legislative ends. In this paper, we use originally collected data on the military background of U.S. Senators to test whether veteran Senators are more collaborative and engage in more successful legislative pursuits. First, we find strong evidence that veteran Senators collaborate more on proposed legislation than non-veterans, particularly in bipartisan pairs across differing policy issues. Secondly, we find legislation with more veteran sponsors make it further in the legislative process from being reported out of committee to ultimately becoming law. Considering these findings, we test our theoretical mechanism and find evidence that military service is correlated with more effective and legislatively productive Senators.  Taken together, we show that pre-senatorial careers in public service shapes collaboration and effectiveness in the contemporary U.S. Senate. (Joint with Jared Stefani)


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