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Lobbying and Policymaking

Lobbying and Policymaking
The Public Pursuit of Private Interests

September 2012 | 280 pages | CQ Press
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, "Was political science missing some key aspects of the interactions between lobbyists and policy makers?" 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 lobbying—even 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, it's 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.

1. Key Concepts and Ideas
2. Models of Influence
3. The Policy Process
4. Policymaking by Regulatory Agencies
5. Interest Group Participation, Strategies and Success in the Regulatory Process
6. Lobbying Alone or Cooperatively
7. The Case for Neopluralism
8. Evidence for the Exchange Model
9. Building a Model of Lobbying
10. Conclusions and Implications
Glossary of Terms
Appendix 1: So You Think You Want to Be a Lobbyist

“Lobbying and Policymaking is an important addition to the interest group and policymaking literature particularly in the context of the role that lobbying has on rulemaking, which one might argue is the primary policymaking process currently in use in the United States. The authors do a wonderful job providing a strong theoretical background, discussing the important research to date, and putting that research into an important context for their own research. The balance between the use of case studies and quantitative data makes this a highly readable and accessible book. Students and scholars will garner a new appreciation of the role of lobbying particularly as it relates to the bureaucracy.”

Scott Furlong
University of Wisconsin, Green Bay

“With a host of empirical examples and a solid set of theoretical underpinnings, Godwin, Ainsworth, and Godwin have written a lively, rigorous text that integrates our understanding of lobbying and the policymaking process. The authors cast their net widely, using lobbying as a means to understand how policies are made in legislative, regulatory, and bureaucratic settings. Lobbying and Policymaking will guide students through the intricacies of policy making, neither oversimplifying the process nor making it seem so complex to defy comprehension. Tying together their own research with a strong overview of both lobbying and policy making, Godwin, Ainsworth, and Godwin have provided a road map for understanding of who gets what, when, where, and why.”

Burdett Loomis
University of Kansas

“Godwin, Ainsworth, and Godwin have produced a book that is thorough and rigorous, rich in theory and data. Students will learn much from it. So will their professors. By integrating models of interest group influence with models of policymaking, the authors illustrate why and how lobbying strategies vary over time and across settings. The discussion and analysis of neopluralism and exchange theory will provide students with valuable tools to make sense of interest group politics and the policy process. The focus on regulatory policy is an especially useful feature of this book. Regulatory politics tends not to receive much attention in standard texts on interest groups. Lobbying and Policymaking fills an important gap by illustrating how a lot of lobbying activity takes place out of public view – which is just how many interests want it!”

Julio Borquez
University of Michigan, Dearborn

“The approach of the book to interest groups and public policy is one of its great strengths. The authors are on top of the literature, and have done a great deal of research of their own. I applaud their effort to keep theories, models and frameworks prominent in the chapters. As the authors stress, covering agency rulemaking is very important, but often neglected, in studies of interest group influence. Coverage is another great strength of the book.”

Donald Baumer
Smith College

"Books about lobbying usually either over-emphasize theory or they over-generalize from exciting stores.  Lobbying and Policymaking brings a beautiful blend of both.  Theories about lobbying and interest groups are brought to life through compelling cases.  In my experience, people learn best when they integrate their heads (the theory side) with their guts (working through real problems). Lobbying and Policymaking strikes the perfect balance" 

David King
Harvard University

Ideal text for public affiars students new to politics

Mr David Holden-Locke
Lancashire Business School, University of Central Lancashire
October 30, 2013

“Lobbying and Policymaking” by Godwin et al. is an excellent text for scholars studying interest groups, lobbying, and policy making. Authors are successful in comprehensively linking the policy process with lobbying activities. The claim about patterns of lobbying strategies being dependant on policy phase, and, especially, a finding about changing focus in the public debate from the need to secure collective goods to defending of private interests, is definitely worth of attention and further exploration.

Mrs Beata Kviatek - Simanska
School of Communication, Media, and IT, Hanze University of Applied Sciences
April 10, 2013
Key features
  • Insights in the book advantageously draw on the practical lobbying experience of one of the authors, strengthening the link between theory and practice.
  • Eight case studies, rich with detail and insider information, offer students a birds' eye view into the lobbying of bureaucratic agencies that both test and illustrate concepts and hypotheses.
  • The authors have developed a formal model in the book—which is kept to a single chapter—to test their theory of policymaking, with all aspects of the model summarized in prose. 
  • The authors draw from two large datasets—effectively displayed in figures and tables throughout the book—to compare competing explanations of lobbying influence.
  • "So You Want to Become a Lobbyist" appendix offers students a window on the types of career paths that executive branch lobbyists follow and the techniques they rely on when influencing federal policy.

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