Contractual Politics and the Institutionalization of Bureaucratic Influence

Contractual Politics and the Institutionalization of Bureaucratic Influence

by Glenn R. Parker, Suzanne L. Parker


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Analyzes long-term interest group/party alliances, with a focus on the part played by federal advisory committees.

This book sheds light on the dealings between special interests and political parties by challenging three long-standing assumptions: that transactions between interest groups and parties are quid pro quo exchanges, such as the buying and selling of legislation; that the interrelationship between bureaucrats and interest groups is accommodating and friendly; and that special interests are single-minded in their pursuit of favorable policies, specifically legislation and regulations. The authors argue that political transactions are organized through durable informal agreements between interest groups and political parties, whereby parties obtain a dependable source of long-term campaign funds, and interest groups gain enduring favorable treatment in the political process. In response to interest group demands, legislatures such as Congress establish quasi-governmental appendages to federal agencies that oversee the administration of programs prized by special interests—namely, federal advisory committees. The authors examine the complex relationship between the establishment and influence of thousands of federal advisory committees and long-term interest group contributions to political parties.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781438467948
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 01/02/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 330
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Now retired, Glenn R. Parker was Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Purdue University and is the author of many books, including Capitol Investment$: The Marketability of Political Skills.

Suzanne L. Parker, also now retired, was Associate Professor of Political Science at Purdue University. Together they have coauthored Factions in House Committees.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures

1. Introduction: A Contractual Perspective on Interest Group Politics

2. The Political Utility of Advisory Committees

3. The Institutional Underpinnings of Political Contracts

4. A Theory of Political Contracts

5. Defusing Contractual Hazards

6. Interest Group Demand and the Spread of Advisory Committees

7. Advisory Committees as Instruments of Bureaucratic Influence

8. The Efficiency of Contracts in Governing Political Exchange

9. Conclusions

Appendix to Chapter 4: A Formal Representation of Contractual Politics
Appendix to Chapter 7: Predicting the Linkage between Agency Budgets and Implementation of Advisory Committee

Index of Names
Index of Subjects

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