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

Paperback | July 15, 2009

byFrank R. Baumgartner

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During the 2008 election season, politicians from both sides of the aisle promised to rid government of lobbyists’ undue influence. For the authors of Lobbying and Policy Change, the most extensive study ever done on the topic, these promises ring hollow—not because politicians fail to keep them but because lobbies are far less influential than political rhetoric suggests.

Based on a comprehensive examination of ninety-eight issues, this volume demonstrates that sixty percent of recent lobbying campaigns failed to change policy despite millions of dollars spent trying. Why? 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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During the 2008 election season, politicians from both sides of the aisle promised to rid government of lobbyists’ undue influence. For the authors of Lobbying and Policy Change, the most extensive study ever done on the topic, these promises ring hollow—not because politicians fail to keep them but because lobbies are far less influen...

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 profes...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:360 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:July 15, 2009Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226039455

ISBN - 13:9780226039459

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures

Acknowledgments

Chapter 1. Advocacy, Public Policy, and Policy Change

Chapter 2. Incrementalism and the Status Quo

Chapter 3. Structure or Chaos?

Chapter 4. Opposition and Obstacles

Chapter 5. Partisanship and Elections

Chapter 6. Strategic Choices

Chapter 7. Arguments

Chapter 8. Tactics

Chapter 9. Washington: The Real No-Spin Zone

Chapter 10. Does Money Buy Public Policy?

Chapter 11. Policy Outcomes

Chapter 12. Rethinking Policy Change

Methodological Appendix

Notes

Index