“How to Research Legislative History,” John Dearborn, Vanderbilt University

speaker photo
Event time: 
Friday, March 4, 2022 - 1:00pm through 2:00pm
Virtual Event on Zoom
John Dearborn, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Vanderbilt University
Event description: 


How did a particular policy get passed by Congress? Or, more simply, how did a bill become a law? These are basic questions in politics, but researching legislative history involves many steps, questions, and historical sources. In this workshop, we will discuss how to research the history behind a law passed by Congress, focusing on (1) formulating a research question, (2) looking for evidence, (3) finding sources at Yale and elsewhere, and (4) presenting findings. Participants will be guided through a demonstration of legislative history research. The session is being presented by John Dearborn, Assistant Professor, Political Science, Vanderbilt University and formerly Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer at Yale University.

John Dearborn is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Carolyn T. and Robert M. Rogers Dean’s Faculty Fellow at Vanderbilt University. His research and teaching interests include the Presidency, Congress, American Political Development, American Political Thought, and Archival Methods. He is the author of two books, Power Shifts: Congress and Presidential Representation (University of Chicago Press, 2021) and Phantoms of a Beleaguered Republic: The Deep State and the Unitary Executive (Oxford University Press, 2021, coauthored with Stephen Skowronek and Desmond King). Previously, he was a postdoctoral associate in the Center for the Study of Representative Institutions and in The Policy Lab of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale in 2019.

Registration is required. LINK TO REGISTER ON ZOOM

This is part of a series of workshops for ISPS-affiliated students and other Yale students who are interested in public policy.