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Washington lobbies are far less influential than political rhetoric suggests. In fact, sixty percent of recent lobbying campaigns failed to change policy despite millions of dollars spent trying. Lobbying and Policy Change explains why.
Drawing on their comprehensive examination of nearly one hundred issues, the authors find that resources explain less than five percent of the difference between successful and unsuccessful efforts. Moreover, they show, these attempts must overcome an entrenched Washington system with a tremendous bias in favor of the status quo.
Though elected officials and existing policies carry more weight, lobbies have an impact too, and when advocates for a given issue finally succeed, policy tends to change significantly. The authors argue, however, that the lobbying community so strongly reflects elite interests that it will not fundamentally alter the balance of power unless its makeup shifts dramatically in favor of average Americans' concerns.
List of Tables and Figures vii
Chapter 1 Advocacy, Public Policy, and Policy Change 1
Chapter 2 Incrementalism and the Status Quo 29
Chapter 3 Structure or Chaos? 46
Chapter 4 Opposition and Obstacles 68
Chapter 5 Partisanship and Elections 90
Chapter 6 Strategic Choices 110
Chapter 7 Arguments 129
Chapter 8 Tactics 149
Chapter 9 Washington: The Real No-Spin Zone 166
Chapter 10 Does Money Buy Public Policy? 190
Chapter 11 Policy Outcomes 215
Chapter 12 Rethinking Policy Change 239
Methodological Appendix 261