Elisabeth R. Gerber's The populist paradox: interest group influence and the PDF
By Elisabeth R. Gerber
Do small yet filthy rich curiosity teams effect referendums, poll tasks, and other kinds of direct laws on the cost of the wider public curiosity? Many observers argue that they do, frequently lamenting that direct laws has, ironically, been captured by way of the exact same prosperous pursuits whose energy it used to be designed to lessen. Elisabeth Gerber, despite the fact that, demanding situations that argument. during this first systematic examine of the way funds and curiosity workforce energy truly impact direct laws, she finds that giant spending doesn't inevitably suggest immense influence.
Gerber bases her findings on huge surveys of the actions and motivations of curiosity teams and on shut exam of crusade finance documents from 168 direct laws campaigns in 8 states. Her learn confirms what such filthy rich pursuits because the coverage undefined, trial attorney institutions, and tobacco businesses have realized via defeats on the poll field: if voters don't love a proposed new legislations, even a dear, high-profile crusade won't lead them to swap their brain. She demonstrates, despite the fact that, that those fiscal curiosity teams have substantial luck in utilizing direct laws to dam projects that others are featuring and to exert strain on politicians. against this, citizen curiosity teams with broad-based aid and important organizational assets have confirmed to be tremendous potent in utilizing direct laws to go new legislation. basically written and argued, it is a significant theoretical and empirical contribution to our figuring out of the position of electorate and arranged pursuits within the American legislative approach.
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Additional resources for The populist paradox: interest group influence and the promise of direct legislation
3 Direct Legislation Hurdles MY THIRD PREMISE is that the institutions of direct legislation and the regularities of voter behavior create hurdles that influence-seeking groups must overcome. These hurdles represent the effective costs of pursuing a group’s policy goals through the direct legislation process. To achieve their goals, groups choose particular strategies. A strategy is a plan of action that maps a group’s goals to the actions required to achieve those goals. A strategy involves undertaking a particular set of political activities and entails overcoming a particular set of institutional and behavioral hurdles.
9 The second limit to the analogy of the profit-maximizing firm results from the nature of an interest group’s constituency. Most interest groups are voluntary associations that concern themselves, first and foremost, with membership recruitment and retention. Thus, their choice of political strategies is based not only on each strategy’s expected policy consequence but also on each strategy’s impact on the group’s membership. Although firms may have some interest in promoting worker morale and social causes, they need not attribute the same importance to these concerns.
18 Because the Interest Group (either alone or in coalition with other groups) must pay the costs of proposing, qualifying, and campaigning for the initiative, I assume the Interest Group must absorb these costs. By contrast, I assume the Legislature has already committed to considering policies in a given policy area, and therefore its costs are effectively zero. If I assume the Legislature must also absorb the costs (both direct costs and opportunity costs) of passing its law, the results extend straightforwardly.
The populist paradox: interest group influence and the promise of direct legislation by Elisabeth R. Gerber