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Eco-Wars: Political Campaigns and Social Movements / Edition 1

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Overview

Can grassroots interest groups ever win the wars they wage in the political arena against big business in America? Praised by some as a crucial component of the democratic system and criticized by others as stubborn, single-issue factions that pose a threat to the equitable progress of political change, interest groups are considered by many detractors to have a success rate directly related to their alliance with wealthy, powerful corporations. As Ronald T. Libby asserts in Eco-Wars, viable strategies are available to environmental, food safety, animal rights, gun control, and other organizations that seek to challenge business interests in the political arena. Employing newly released documents culled from five non-business-related alliances with mostly social concerns, known today as "expressive" interest groups, Libby examines how they confront powerful industries. Eco-Wars investigates an antibiotechnology campaign aimed at drug companies; an animal rights effort directed against the agricultural industry; an anti-pesticide campaign focused on the chemical industry; a property rights fight against environmental groups; and a secondhand smoke campaign opposing tobacco companies. Drawing upon previously classified files, Eco-Wars also draws from interviews with both activists and the industry representatives they oppose.With his balanced analysis, Libby goes beyond the polemical nature of much work on this subject, offering a new avenue for research in the social sciences and a useful tool for interest groups.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Laura R. Woliver
A deft blending of interest group and social movement literature and original scholarship displaying how intersecting both fields informs each in turn. Libby´s five case studies of expressive groups and their countermobilized oppositions display the fragile nature of citizen campaigns, as well as the potential strengths and powers of these impassioned interests. The study furthers our understanding of the privileged position of business, the difficulty of having citizen voices heard as legitimate, and the crucial role of issue framing in political contests.
William P. Browne
A very usable and balanced book with great adaptability to any course dealing with organized interest politics. Libby argues well that expressive interests can and do check and politically trouble wealthier economic interests. This analysis effectively presents a side of interest politics that too many ignore too often.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Ronald T. Libby is professor of political science at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville and the author of five books including Protecting Markets: U.S. Policy and the World Grain Trade and The Politics of Economic Power in Southern Africa.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Expressive Interest Groups2. The Antibiotechnology Campaign: Farmers Food Safety Groups, and Drug Companies3. The Animal Rights Campaign: Agribusiness and Animal Rights Groups4. The "Big Green" Campaign: Hollywood and the Chemical Industry5. The Secondhand Smoke Campaign: Antismoking Groups and the Philip Morris Company6. The Endangered Species Campaign: Property Rights Advocates and Environmental Groups7. Conclusion

Columbia University Press

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