In the latest contribution to the Democracy Papers, Sarah E. Anderson, Daniel Butler, and Laurel Harbridge-Yong discuss the importance of closed-door negotiations for successful legislative compromise. Using experimental data collected from state legislators, the authors demonstrate that lawmakers expect private negotiations to result in successful compromises more often than public negotiations. These results are part of a project funded through the Anxieties of Democracy “Negotiating Agreement in Congress” grants program.
Laurel Harbridge-Yong is an associate professor of political science and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. Her work focuses on how elections, institutions, and policy are connected in US legislatures, with a focus on understanding party conflict and the lack of bipartisanship and compromise. Her research has been published in journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and Political Behavior, as well as in her book Is Bipartisanship Dead? (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Harbridge-Yong received a Negotiating Agreement in Congress (NAC) research grant in 2016–2017 for a project titled "The Limits of Electoral Accountability: Passing the Buck for Congressional Inaction" as part of the Anxieties of Democracy program, and she also collaborated with Daniel Butler and Sarah Anderson in his NAC research project "Beyond Ideological Disagreement: Obstacles to Compromise."