Reversals of Fortune: Public Policy and Private Interests

Reversals of Fortune: Public Policy and Private Interests

by Gary Mucciaroni
     
 

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In this book, Gary Mucciaroni examines the shifting fortunes of economic interest groups in Washington. He addresses such compelling questions as: Why do policymakers bestow benefits on these groups in some areas of public policy but refrain from doing so in others? Why are benefits given to these industries in one period but revoked at a later time? What

Overview

In this book, Gary Mucciaroni examines the shifting fortunes of economic interest groups in Washington. He addresses such compelling questions as: Why do policymakers bestow benefits on these groups in some areas of public policy but refrain from doing so in others? Why are benefits given to these industries in one period but revoked at a later time? What conditions and processes shape policymakers' postures toward particular interests, and why do they sometimes change?

Mucciaroni compares and contrasts four policy areas—tax incentives, anti-competitive regulations, trade barriers, and agricultural subsidies—where it is possible for interest groups to gain substantial benefits while paying little of the costs. He finds that the fortunes of these groups vary considerably across policies and over time.

In explaining these patterns, Mucciaroni argues that interest group fortunes are not shaped so much by the interest groups themselves or their political activities, but rather by what he calls the "issue and institutional contexts." The kinds of issues that become salient, how they are defined in policy debates, and the different institutional arrangements for making policy choices all have a powerful impact on group fortunes. The comparative case study approach allows the author to build generalizations about the relationship between issues, institutions, interests, and policy without sacrificing the rich and nuanced insights found in single case studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780815758754
Publisher:
Brookings Institution Press
Publication date:
12/28/1994
Pages:
225
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Mucciaroni is associate professor of political science at Temple University. He is a former research fellow of the Brookings Institution and the author of The Political Failure of Employment Policy: 1945-1982 (University of Pittsbur

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