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Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies


  • Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies
    (202) 885-3491

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Professor James Thurber Discusses the Republican Debate on the Diane Rehm Show

Hear Professor Thurber; Susan Page, Washington bureau chief of USA Today; and David Folkenflik, media correspondent at NPR and author of "Murdoch's World: The Last of the Old Media Empires", discuss the latest GOP Debate and the role of televised debates in the election process


Taking CMI or PAAI in January? Apply for the Benefactors' Award!

Learn more about this award, including application deadline and criteria.


AU Experts Forecast the 2016 Election


Tuesday, November 17th

11:30 AM Lunch

12:00 PM Discussion begins
SIS Founders Room, American University


Panel to include:

Glen Bolger

 Partner and co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies and CCPS Research Fellow


Anna Greenberg

 Senior Vice President of Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner and CCPS Research Fellow


Jennifer L. Lawless

 Professor of Government and Director of the Women & Politics Institute


Allan Lichtman

Distinguished Professor of History and author of The Keys to the White House, (forthcoming early 2016, Rowman & Littlefield)

David N. Wasserman

U.S. House Editor, Cook Political Report

 Moderated by:

James A. Thurber

Director, Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies
and Distinguished University Professor at American University

Lunch will be provided
Please RSVP to wpi@american.edu or 202-885-2903

Apply for the 2015 Gill Family Foundation Scholarship

CCPS and The Gill Family Foundation announces a $6,000 scholarship for dissertation support to a PhD student working on a dissertation in the areas of American Politics, Comparative Politics, Public Administration, or Policy Analysis at American University using quantitative methods.

The Gill Family Foundation was established in 1997 in Houston, Texas, to further the Gill family's interest in support of educational philanthropy. As a statement of philosophy, the Gill family has noted that "Education plays the critical role in providing opportunities for growth, development, success, lasting relationships and satisfaction in life. We are committed to giving back to the system which provided us so much opportunity for success and financial independence."

Apply Now


Conflict, Order and Reform in the House: The 94th—114th Congresses

Read Prof. James A. Thurber’s closing remarks from this conference commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 94th Congress.

CCPS Sponsored the Election Assistance Commission conference on August 12 and 13 held at the School of Public Affairs at American University.

Read Prof. Leighley’s opening remarks.

American Gridlock Cover

American Gridlock: The Sources, Character, and Impact of Political Polarization

 Explore Prof. Thurber’s latest book: American Gridlock: The Sources, Character, and Impact of Political Polarization


EPAAI 2015

Prof. Thurber and the European Public Affairs and Advocacy Class of 2015 Celebrate

Learn More about EPAAI

Race Relations in America

American University hosted an important event last week highlighting the issues surrounding the current state of race relations.

Watch Hands Up

The Obama Administration: Legal Issues Involving the Use of Military Force

Panel Included:

  • Chris Edelson: Assistant Professor of Government, School of Public Affairs at American University
  • Lou Fisher: Scholar in Residence, The Constitution Project
  • Shoon Murray: Associate Professor, School of International Service at American University

Moderated by Professor James A. Thurber, Director, Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies and Distinguished University Professor.


Op-ed by AU graduate student: "Stop reauthorizing the ‘war on drugs.'"

Read AU student Brody Garland’s op-ed published in The Hill


Presidential Pardons

Professor Jeff Crouch was quoted in USA Today’s article on President Obama’s recent pardons.

Read Now

Recent Article Published by Professors Thurber and Griffin

Profs. Thurber and Griffin co-authored an article titled "Teaching Public Policy Advocacy by Combining Academic Knowledge and Professional Wisdom," in the most recent issue of  Interest Groups & Advocacy. 

Visit Palgrave Publications for more information.

Gill/King Event

Prof. James A. Thurber, Prof. Gary King, Provost Scott Bass, Prof. Jeff Gill, and Dean Barbara Romzek

Keynote Address by Gary King to Honor Distinguished Alumnus Jeff Gill

Professor Gary King, Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor, Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences at Harvard University presented his research on the Chinese censorship apparatus, at a keynote given on January 30th.

View Professor King’s presentation

Learn More about Gary King

Learn More about Jeff Gill

View photos


Lobbying and Ethics Laws

James Thurber talked about lobby reform and ethical issues regarding members of Congress.?He spoke about previous efforts to change lobbying practices on Capitol Hill and discussed potential change in the 114th Congress.?James Thurber is the author of numerous books on politics and government and served as a legislative assistant to former senators Bill Brock, Adlai Stevenson III, and Hubert Humphrey.

This forum was part of American University's biannual workshop (PAAI) focusing on lobbying strategies used in the nation's capital.

Watch C-SPAN Coverage

AU President Neil Kerwin Speaks at PAAI

Watch Dr. Kerwin's presentation from the latest session of the Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute.



Professor Thurber after giving speech at the OECD Forum on Financing Democracy and Averting Policy Capture in Paris, December 3-4, 2014 with Janos Bertok (on left) head of Public Sector Integrity Division, Public Governance Directorate, OECD.

Professor Thurber at OECD

View Professor James Thurber's recent presentation at the Organization for Economic Co?operation and Development (OECD), "Political Finance and its Impact on Public Policy and Decision Making Processes…How to Mitigate the Risks of "Capture": The U.S. Case"


CCPS is pleased to announce Gail Baitinger as the recipient of the 2014 Gill Family Foundation Scholarship

Gail's dissertation is titled: If It's Sunday, It's Meet the Men: Examining Gender Differences in Appearances on the Sunday Morning Talk Shows.

Women's under-representation in the news is widely established, but its roots are not yet known. My dissertation is the first to examine systematically whether sexism, journalistic norms, or a combination of the two account for discrepancies in the presence of men and women in the news, the issues discussed by male and female guests, and men and women's ability to set the political agenda. I rely on an original data set of approximately 4,800 Sunday morning show appearances of more than 1,000 individual guests –including elected officials, journalists, administration officials, and activists –as a vehicle by which to assess the roots of women's under-representation in the media and whether gender differences exist in their issue expertise in the news. The quantitative data I collected are from transcripts of all five Sunday morning talk shows and capture every guest who appears on the programs between 2009 and 2011 and the issues they discussed during their appearance. I home in on members of Congress to predict which legislators make the most frequent appearances and the issues they discuss based on characteristics such as sex, seniority, leadership roles, and committee assignments.

Obama Heads to Asia

Prof. Thurber appeared on Sunday's NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt to discuss President Obama's second term and focus on international issues as he begins a three country trip to China, Myanmar, and Australia


 Divided Government

Prof. James Thurber appeared on CSPAN's Washington Journal this week. He talked about how President Obama and a Republican-controlled Congress might operate during the 114th Congress.?He also discussed how previous administrations have worked with opposition party-controlled congresses.


White House Congressional Relations: Strategic Options for the President and the Congress

Were you unable to attend? Watch Now!

Panel included:

Charles Brain, President, Capitol Hill Strategies LLC
Assistant to the President and Director of Legislative Affairs - Clinton Administration: 2000-2001
Deputy Assistant - Clinton Administration: 1998-1999

Nicholas Calio, President and CEO of Airlines for America
Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs - George W. Bush Administration: 2001-2003 and George H.W. Bush Administration: 1991-1993

Dan Meyer, Partner, Duberstein Group
Deputy Assistant to the President - George W. Bush Administration: 2007
Assistant to the President - George W. Bush Administration: 2007-2008

Phil Schiliro, Policy Consultant

Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs - Obama Administration: 2009-2011; Obama Biden Transition Team: 2008-2009

Moderated by Patrick Griffin

Associate Director for Public Policy Programs and Academic Director of the Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, Assistant to the President and Director of Legislative Affair - Clinton Administration: 1994-1996

Prof. Thurber Talks about the Midterm Elections


Watch Prof. Thurber’s interview by Sinclair Broadcast TV reporter Kai Jackson

AU Experts Analyze the 2014 Election


Thursday, November 6th at 12PM
Kay Spiritual Life Center

Join CCPS, WPI, and the Kay Spiritual Life Center for an analysis of the 2014 Midterm election results. Discussion will include the following panelists:

  • Anna Greenberg; CCPS Research Fellow and Senior Vice President of Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner
  • Jennifer Lawless; Professor of Government and Director of the Women & Politics Institute
  • Candice Nelson; Professor and Department Chair of Government and Director of the Campaign Management Institute
  • Molly O'Rourke; Executive in Residence, School of Communications

Panel will be moderated by James A. Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, and distinguished university professor.

Lunch will be served from 12:00-12:20 in the Kay Lounge. Panel will take place in the Kay Chapel at 12:30.

Please RSVP to ccps@american.edu or (202)885-3491

Learn More

Dutch Group

Thurber speaks to Dutch journalists

 Professor Thurber spoke on the 2014 election to a group of journalists from the Netherlands sponsored by the Netherlands Atlantic Association, Bram Boxhoorn, Director on Friday, October 24 at American University.

Photo of World Bank

World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC