Lobbying and Policy Change: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Kay Schlozman
“This excellent book draws on a creative, original data set that nearly solves one of the great puzzles of political analysis: how to make a systematic assessment of who wields influence in politics. The authors amassed a phenomenal amount of information from interviews and electronic and print sources. Although much of what they find challenges common wisdom in political science, their findings are persuasive.”Kay Schlozman, Boston College
Andrew McFarland
Lobbying and Policy Change sets the benchmark for research about lobbying the American national government. With its ninety-eight case studies of policymaking, carefully analyzed by five leading political scientists, it is the basic reference for understanding Washington lobbying. The book’s conclusions are judicious, avoiding the extremes of overwrought populism or bland acceptance of the status quo. Avoiding technical language, Lobbying and Policy Change is the very best choice for the college classroom.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226039459
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 6/30/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 879,146
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Frank R. Baumgartner is the Bruce R. Miller and Dean D. LaVigne Professor of Political Science at Penn State University. Jeffrey M. Berry is the John Richard Skuse Professor of Political Science at Tufts University. Marie Hojnacki is associate professor of political science at Penn State University. David C. Kimball is associate professor of political science at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Beth L. Leech is associate professor of political science at Rutgers University.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures vii

Acknowledgments xi

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

Notes 303

Index 327

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