From Politics in Question:

On this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Alexander C. Furnas joins Julia, Lee, and James to consider the importance of expertise and experience in making Congress work. Alexander is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center of Science and Innovation at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. He studies the use of information, science, and expertise in policymaking, interest groups, and elite political behavior using survey, text analysis and network methods. Alexander has published articles in the American Political Science Review, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Legislative Studies Quarterly. Most recently, he coauthored “Congressional Brain Drain: Legislative Capacity in the 21st Century” with Timothy M. LaPira.

What role do staff play in making Congress work? Does the ongoing decline in issue-area expertise and experience among staffers explain today’s political dysfunction. Or is the problem a decline in members’ ability to legislate? What reforms can address these issues? These are some of the questions Alexander, Julia, Lee, and James consider on this week’s episode.