The latest virtual issue of PS features articles written by alumni of the Congressional Fellowship Program (CFP) from 2010 to 2015. The CFP fellows serve yearlong placements in congressional and executive offices, and they chronicle their firsthand experiences in the pages of PS. Enjoy the full virtual issue here.
The Complexities of Lobbying: Toward a Deeper Understanding of the Profession
“One of the ongoing challenges for interest group scholars has been to explain exactly how lobbying works. What is it that lobbyists actually do? What are their sources of influence? While a few landmark surveys of lobbying activity (Scholzman and Tierney 1986; Heinz et al. 1993) have shown lobbying to be a remarkably variegated phenomenon—with lobbyists employing a wide range of tactics and strategies, all with less than predictable rates of success—the literature on interest groups has tended toward a parsimonious theory of lobbying. Numerous scholars have attempted to distill lobbying to primarily one concept: for example, a transactional marketplace where votes are traded for electoral support, a process of working with allies, or an information transmission process. This article argues that it is not so easy to boil lobbying down to just one thing.
The analysis presented here is based on my personal experience as a 2009–10 APSA Congressional Fellow. In December 2009, I joined the banking and housing team of a Democratic Senate office. The dominant issue during my time on the team was financial regulation reform—what would eventually become the Dodd-Frank bill. When I first arrived, Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT), the then-chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, had recently issued his discussion draft. Within a week of my arrival, the House had passed its version of the bill (H.R. 4173), and all attention shifted to the Senate, with a date uncertain for passage.” Read More.
- Read more Capitol Hill Insights in PS: Political Science & Politics.
- Learn more about the Congressional Fellowship Program.
PS: Political Science & Politics / Volume 43 / Issue 04 / October 2010, pp 834-837