PoliInformatics: A big data approach to government transparency and understanding

Broad participation by informed citizens should lead to better public policy. But that doesn’t mean it is going to happen. Cognitively, people are inclined toward confirmation bias (looking for evidence that confirms what they already believe) and towards simple explanations of complex issues (dimension reduction). A central goal of this … Continue reading

Visualizing Lawmaking: The End of School House Rock?

Most of us learned (in school or by watching School House Rock) that members of Congress dream up solutions to problems in society, introduce them as bills and then struggle to advance those bills through a maze of procedural hurdles to become law. Of course, this civics portrayal of lawmaking … Continue reading

Wilkerson and Parker win Exemplary Research Award

CAPPP director John Wilkerson and research affiliate Walter Parker  received the prestigous 2013 Exemplary Research Award from the National Council for Social Studies. The award was for their experimental research examining the benefits of a project based learning approach to high school AP government classes. The project has also received … Continue reading

Professor Becca Thorpe’s recent book wins two national awards!

How is it that the United States—a country founded on a distrust of standing armies and strong centralized power—came to have the most powerful military in history? Long after World War II and the end of the Cold War, in times of rising national debt and reduced need for high … Continue reading

Online Teaching Tools

LegSim - A student-run congressional simulation for HS and college students.
LegEx - A data-driven discovery tool for learning about how bills become law.

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The Center for American Politics and Public Policy (CAPPP) at the University of Washington is a research institution within the Department of Political Science.