The authors begin by explaining how the group approach to politics became dominant forty years ago in reaction to the constitutional-legal approach that preceded it. They show how it fell into decline in the 1970s as scholars ignored the impact of groups on government to focus on more quantifiable but narrower subjects, such as collective-action dilemmas and the dynamics of recruitment. As a result, despite intense research activity, we still know very little about how groups influence day-to-day governing. Baumgartner and Leech argue that scholars need to develop a more coherent set of research questions, focus on large-scale studies, and pay more attention to the context of group behavior. Their book will give new impetus and direction to a field that has been in the academic wilderness too long.
Received wisdom has it that lobbyists run the American government on behalf of moneyed interests. But what makes lobbyists run, and how do they induce legislators and bureaucrats to do their bidding? These are questions for which even the harshest critics lack satisfying answers. Lobbyists at Work explores what lobbyists really do and why. It goes behind the scenes and brings back in-depth interviews with fifteen political advocates chosen to represent the breadth and diversity of the lobbying profession.
The interviewees profiled in this book range from the top lobbyists-for-hire at the most powerful K Street firms to pro bono lobbyists for the disenfranchised and powerless. The roster spans all types of lobbyists working for all types of clients and seeking to influence all levels and branches of government. The permutations include business-lobbying-government, government-lobbying-government, government-to-business revolving door, regulatory lobbying, state and local lobbying, citizen-advocacy lobbying,single-issue lobbying, and multiple-issue lobbying. In colorful and sometimes hilarious detail, the interviewees take the reader through their arsenals of traditional and next-generation lobbying techniques, including face-to-face persuasion of elected officials and their staffs, educational campaigns and coalition-building, ghost-drafting complex legislation and regulation for government committees and agencies, contributions, and social media campaigns.
In Lobbyists at Work, the normally self-effacing subjects open up about themselves and their profession: why they chose to become lobbyists, what motivates them to keep lobbying, how they cultivate their lobbying influence, how they adjust to changes in the rules affecting their lobbying methods, and what they actually do at work each day (and night). As an authority on lobbying respected in Washington for her impartiality, Professor Beth Leech elicits frank disclosures, career tips, and riveting stories about the good, the bad, and the ambivalent on both sides of the symbiotic relationship between government officials and lobbyists.
Meeting at Grand Central brings together insights from evolutionary biology, political science, economics, anthropology, and other fields to explain how the interactions between our evolved selves and the institutional structures we have created make cooperation possible. The book begins with a look at the ideas of Mancur Olson and George Williams, who shifted the question of why cooperation happens from an emphasis on group benefits to individual costs. It then explores how these ideas have influenced our thinking about cooperation, coordination, and collective action. The book persuasively argues that cooperation and its failures are best explained by evolutionary and social theories working together. Selection sometimes favors cooperative tendencies, while institutions, norms, and incentives encourage and make possible actual cooperation.
Meeting at Grand Central will inspire researchers from different disciplines and intellectual traditions to share ideas and advance our understanding of cooperative behavior in a world that is more complex than ever before.
Attention is a crucial variable in understanding modern politics. Shifts in attention have dramatic consequences for both politics and policy decisions.
This volume includes case studies of nine different political systems including the US, Canada, several European systems, and the EU itself. It asks the following questions:
Which are the dynamics of agenda-setting in the EU? Which role do political parties play in attention allocation? What are the cross national differences in attention to health care? What role does science and expertise play in attention-allocation? What are the effects of political institutions?
Comparative Studies of Policy Agendas will be of interest to students and scholars of policy analysis and public policy.