Lobbying and Policymaking: The Public Pursuit of Private Interests

Lobbying and Policymaking: The Public Pursuit of Private Interests

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Spurred by the disconnect between what was being taught in the classroom and actual practice, Godwin, Ainsworth, and Godwin set out to answer the question, ôWas political science missing some key aspects of the interactions between lobbyists and policy makers?ö Built on interviews with over 100 lobbyists, these authors show that much of the research on organized interests overlooks the lobbying of regulatory agencies even though it accounts for almost half of all lobbyingùeven though bureaucratic agencies have considerable leeway in the how they choose to implement law. This groundbreaking new book argues that lobbying activity is not mainly a struggle among competing interests over highly collective goods; rather, itÆs the public provision of private goods. And more to the point, this shift in understanding influences our perception of the strengths and weaknesses of American democracy. Through a series of highly readable case studies, the authors employ both neopluralist and exchange perspectives to explore the lobbying activity that occurs in the later stages of the policymaking process which are typically less partisan, involve little conflict, and receive scant public attention. Lobbying and Policymaking sheds new light on lobbying influence on the policy process, and is an ideal way to expose students to cutting-edge research in an accessible, fascinating package.

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