“Bipartisanship & Curiosity, with Bob Mitchell”



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“Ambition Is Not Enough: Explaining Candidate Emergence in State Level Politics”


In my dissertation, I examine the relationship between political training programs and representational outcomes. Specifically, I am interested in addressing the role that training programs play in fostering political ambition, particularly for women and minorities, and how completing a training program influences electoral chances of participants. I situate this work in the candidate emergence literature and the literature about participation as these programs have assumed, but largely untested, benefits for individuals with political ambition.


Jamil S. Scott
Surveyed graduates of the MPLP program at Michigan State University Professor at Georgetown University



JULY 27, 2016

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There are literally hundreds if not thousands of fantastic books to read to prepare the aspiring public servant. The list below is in no way intended to represent even a fraction of desirable works. Please let us know what books, articles, blogs, Ted Talks you have found particularly interesting in the area of collaborative governing.

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Why Americans Hate Politics

Highly Functional by Craig DeRoche

The Man in the Middle of the American Century by Arthur Vandenberg

Participation Works: Business Cases from Around the World by James P. Troxel

The Second Civil War: How Extreme Partisanship Has Paralyzed Washington and Polarized America by Ronald Brownstein

Washington’s Farewell: The Founding Father’s Warning to Future Generations by John Avlon

Winning Campaigns: Losing Sight, Gaining Insight by Ken Rietz

Coming to Public Judgment: Making Democracy Work in a Complex World by Daniel Yankelovich

Radical Collaboration: Five Essential Skills to Overcome Defensiveness and Build Successful Relationships by James W. Tamm and Ronald J. Luyet

Millennial Momentum: How a New Generation Is Remaking America

The Magic of Dialogue: Transforming Conflict into Cooperation

Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit by Parker J. Palmer

How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt

The Broken Branch: How Congress is Failing America and How to Get it Back on Track by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein

Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America by Nancy MacLean

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

Our Damaged Democracy: We the People Must Act by Joseph A. Califano Jr.

Across the Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America by John Lewis

The Class of ’74: Congress After Watergate and the Roots of Partisanship by John A. Lawrence


Boot Camp For Political Leaders

Boot Camp For Political Leaders

The Michigan Political Leadership Program (MPLP) at Michigan State University is a bi-partisan program that identifies individuals from across the state committed to community service and brings them together to engage in a public policy and leadership fellowship. The MPLP curriculum incorporates practical politics, public policy…
Efforts Stir To Spur Voter Registration, Bipartisan Cooperation

Efforts Stir To Spur Voter Registration, Bipartisan Cooperation

Robert Mitchell, who worked for former Michigan Gov. James Blanchard as director of agriculture and chief deputy director of transportation, has spent the past few decades in Washington in the energy sector. Robert Mitchell (Photo: Bryan Blanken) It was more than 30 years ago when he saw the…
Can American politics be fixed? yes!

Can American politics be fixed? yes!

But only if we have politicians equipped with skills to work across the political divide the bipartisan leadership project will give candidates tools to run a winning campaign and skills to work with the opposition in office every job requires preparation except serving in elected office. can…