Meet 2019-2020 APSA Congressional Fellow Carlos Algara, University of California, Davis

Carlos Algara, PhD- University of California, Davis

The American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship Program is a highly selective, nonpartisan program devoted to expanding knowledge and awareness of Congress. Since 1953, it has brought select political scientists, journalists, federal employees, health specialists, and other professionals to Capitol Hill to experience Congress at work through fellowship placements on congressional staffs.

Carlos Algara received his PhD in political science from the University of California, Davis. His research agenda centers on the capacity of citizens to evaluate the ideological representation provided by their political elites (the U.S. Congress, electoral candidates, and political parties) and how these evaluations influence the institutional behavior of these elites, notably in the context of the United States Congress.

His dissertation project, Collective Accountability in Congressional Elections: Conditions Accountability & Implications for Legislative Incentives, assesses how citizens evaluate the job performance of the U.S. Congress and the role these evaluations play in holding individual candidates accountable for collective partisan performance during an era of relatively responsible congressional parties. He finds that citizen evaluations of the contemporary Congress are rooted in ideological evaluations of the two congressional parties and that these evaluations play a large rule in motivating both their participation in electoral politics and district-centered electoral decision rules.

In addition, his work on legislative behavior, elections, and networks has appeared in peer-reviewed outlets such as Electoral Studies, American Politics Research, and Social Network Analysis & Mining. His published research has also been featured for a broad general audience in the New York Times, Pacific Standard Magazine, The London School of Economics U.S. Politics and Policy Blog, and the Washington, DC-based R Institute LegBranch Political Blog. Originally from Tacoma, Washington, Carlos completed his undergraduate education at Washington State University and holds a Master of Public Policy from Oregon State University.

Learn more about the Congressional Fellowship Program.