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Lecture 7

CAS PO 111 Lecture 7: Politician Entrepreneurs

Political Science
Course Code
CAS PO 111
David Scott Palmer

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Politician Entrepreneurs and Groups
Selective benefits will not be sufficient to organize a group if there is no
leadership to do the work
We call these leaders "political entrepreneurs" and they accrue benefits in
return for doing the work of organizing
These entrepreneurs are a complement to selective benefits in overcoming
collective action problems
Politicians can try to organize an interest that they supports for their own
electoral benefits
How do interest groups influence policy?
Insider strategies
Directly influencing decision makers
Pursuing advocacy through the courts
Outsider strategies
Educating the public
Campaigning and contributing to the candidates
Many groups employ a mix of insider and outsider strategies
Interest Group Influence: Direct Lobbying
Lobbying is an attempt by a group to influence the policy process through
persuasion of government officials
Billions of dollars are spent on lobbying each year
Lobbying is through of negativity, but lobbyists do some good:
Provide information
Make sure group concerns are heard
Our view of lobby depends on who is doing the lobbying:
By business/industry
Civil liberties, civil rights, social movement
Lobbyists also seek to influence other parts of government by:
Lobby the president
Lobby the executive branch
There are some regulations on lobbying:
Groups must report spending on lobbying
There are strict limits on gifts from lobbyists
Lobbyists must register with the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of
the House of Representatives
Shadow Lobbying: in recent years we have seen more unofficial
lobbying that avoids these regulations, esp. by former politician
find more resources at
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