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Study Guide

by: Joseph Lucas

Study Guide POLI 368 E01

Joseph Lucas

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This study guide is completed with in class notes and notes supplemented from the reading.
Interest Groups and Social Movements
Terry Kimel
Study Guide
political science
50 ?




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This 7 page Study Guide was uploaded by Joseph Lucas on Sunday February 28, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to POLI 368 E01 at University of South Carolina taught by Terry Kimel in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 52 views. For similar materials see Interest Groups and Social Movements in Political Science at University of South Carolina.


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Date Created: 02/28/16
Exam 1 – Study Guide 1. Madison’s dilemma: Balancing the risk of faction against the benefits of freedom to organize. a. We have a free and open society b. Citizens have rights within that society c. In this framework, some segments of the population are likely to pursue their own selfish interest. 2. Factions: “sown in the nature of man” a. Two ways Madison argued the constitution deals with factions i. A system of checks and balances prevents domination by any faction ii. Large and disperse population spurs a large number of competing faction, avoiding dominance by a single group. 3. Interest group: Organized by a body of individuals who have some goal and try to influence public policy i. Truman separated “interest groups” from family groups because of the differences required to form and maintain the groups. 4. Lobbying: When an interest group tries to influence policymakers in government. 5. Government offices that may be lobbied: ii. 6. Roles of interest groups a. Represent constituents b. Afford chance to participate in politics c. Educate the public d. Engage in agenda building e. Program monitoring 7. Collective action problem: a catchall phrase for the coordination and free-riding problems associated with collective action. 8. Coordination: coordinating large groups of people. Frequently, volunteers, is difficult to do. 9. Free-riding: a situation where individuals receive the benefits from collective activity whether or not they helped pay for it, leaving them with no incentive to contribute. 10. Tragedy of the commons: A group of members overexploit a resource, causing its destruction. 11. Truman and the theory of pluralism: iii. 2 conditions must be met a. Shared attitudes b. Claims upon others 12. Zero-sum game: The winner wins exactly the amount the loser loses. 13. Disturbance theory: The creation and elimination of interest groups is linked to economical, political, social, and technological disturbances. 14. Pluralist theory: political power is distributed between a wide array of interest groups who compete. 15. Salisbury and interest group entrepreneurship: iv. Examined farm groups in the 1800s and found that many of them disappeared before they achieved their goals of high stable prices. a. Members join a group to achieve benefits. They will leave if they don’t get their money’s worth. v. Leaders of the group are called organizers/entrepreneurs. vi. Argues that in the “interest group” marketplace, organizers/entrepreneurs will succeed when they provide benefits. 16. Mancur Olsen and Collective Action: i. Says rather than joining interest groups because they are adversely affected, individuals join interest groups because they receive benefits in return. ii. Benefit only goes to group members and is not a collective good 17. Collective goods (group benefits/public goods): Goods that are collectively produced and freely available for anyone’s consumption. 18. Private goods: benefits and services over which the owner has full control over their use. 19. Selective incentives: Olson says  Selective incentives only really work for economic interest groups  Theory is much weaker  Very few selective benefit that lead people to contribute to the National Resource Defense Council. 20. Public goods, private goods, and vulnerability to freeriding:  E.g. the Chamber of Commerce is an interest group whose only concern if to lobby on behalf of business interest around the country. o Irrational to support the chamber because of its advocacy, can receive benefits by being free riders. 21. Social pressure and coercion in interest group participation 22. Truman and Olsen on joining interest groups What Truman says and why Olsen disagrees  Truman has Disturbance Theory which leads to a spontaneous formation of groups, pretty to see in recent years, economical disturbances that lead to the creation of tea party, occupy, and other current movements to improve the “Wage Inequality”  Mancur Olsen says rather than joining interest groups because they are adversely affected, individuals join interest groups because they receive benefits in return. 23. Two ways for interest group entrepreneurs to overcome collective action problems i. IGE direct the exchange of a set of goods and benefits for group membership. ii. IGE provide information that solves what formal theorists have called a coordination problem 24. Interest group entrepreneur- someone who discerns latent preferences and mobilizes those individuals who previously remained unorganized 25. Proliferation hypothesis- suggests that the increasing complexity and interdependence in society leads to the natural development of more and more groups. 26. Homeostatic hypothesis- the interest groups environment naturally gravitates towards some type of equilibrium. 27. Exchange theory- group entrepreneurs exchange a set of goods for group membership 28. Group entrepreneurs as government agents- 29. Tools for interest group entrepreneurs 30. Ancillary sources for groups 31. Principal-agent models 32. Social choice theory- a field of study that examines the means by which an individual preferences can be aggregated or combine into some sort of group choice. 33. Utility function- a graphical representation of someone’s preferences. i. Tolerance interval- a different way of saying a utility function 34. Ideal point- a graphical representation of any given individual’s ideal preference  If they could have it their way, the ideal point is the specific outcome they want 35. Black’s Median Voter Theorem- if all members of a group have single peaked preferences, then the median’s voter’s ideal points is the unique equilibrium. a. Five assumptions  The policy is one dimensional o One topic is being considered.  If it is multidimensional or multiple topics are included, then the theorem does not hold.  The numbers of members in the group is odd.  All individuals have to participate- so there are not abstentions. 36. Unravelling- when the compromise choice is so unacceptable to some of the members, they decide it is better to leave than to stay. 37. Tools for interest groups to avoid unraveling  Selective incentives and solidary rewards  Sorting mechanisms 38. Reasons why interest groups gravitate toward the government a. US federal structure i. The group mirrors the federal system (national, state, and local) allowing representation at different sizes ii. This allows for a good deal of autonomy iii. And each level generally doesn’t meddle in the affairs of others b. Scope of government 39. Role of petition in early congress-  Petitions used to be read aloud in Congress o They were narrowly focused and just for satisfying individual claims against the government o The Abolitionists took advantage of this opportunity and flooded congress with petitions to slow businesses to a crawl.  In early state legislatures, there were committees designed to handle petitions. 40. Committee on claims role in early Congress- “Called the Committee of Claims”  Public lands  Post office and post roads  Pensions and revolutionary claims  Private land claims  Military pensions  Railways and canals  Invalid pensions 41. Elected official in early years acted like paid agents  Daniel Webster example  o Famous senator, orator, and Constitutional lawyer o He represented the U.S. Bank and numerous clients before the supreme  court o The work was not pro bono 42. Grand Army of The Republic was a major driver for this effort. o Interest Groups supported Union veterans o Originally as a philanthropic group, highlighting camaraderie through  social gathering s o The initial political push was just for a Memorial Day to Honor Union  Soldiers who died in battle o Decided to push for more generous pensions for former Union Soldiers o The G.A.R was responsible for publishing the National Tribune, the most  widely circulated weekly in the country 43. Anti-Saloon League  Huge influence on the prohibition movement  Used existing organizations to minimize the collective action problem.  o Targeted protestant church members, who they saw as natural allies o William Jennings Bryan­ hired successful speakers o Rallies were huge affairs that raised money and media attention o Used reg. drives to collect data on supporters 44. Important lobbying points about Washington DC  1 , Private interests often represented  2 , Institutions rather than groups dominate rd  3 , Upper-class bias o Source of the upper-class bias  This is not due to some elitist conspiracy  It is endemic to our system and more lasting­ it cannot be  eliminated by simply rooting out the conspirators. 45. Types of information and information as most important currency in DC:  DC has the highest per capita­ consumption of news in the country  The more information that you have, the more valuable you are  Can be about people and events back home.   Technical and highly specialized regarding policy or process  Who is in and who is out 46. Personal context for lobbyists  Washing lobbyists prize personal information most o Seen as more effective than grassroots or indirect methods o If you can understand a legislator’s personal context, you can know  exactly what they need to succeed o Legislators are nearly always looking to the next reelection  If you are promoting a bill or policy change, it helps to know what people think in a member’s district think.  Tailor that information so that it is specific and useful for the person being  lobbied.  47. Institutional process  Lobbyists must know the legislative process as well, or better than members of  Congress  Must know the flow of events—what legislation is being considered? Where is it  in the process? Who has the most power at any given time in the process? 48. Importance of the next election  Typically, lobbyists work with existing legislation, attempting to amend or kill  aspects of it.  If starting with brand new legislation, need to understand and know the players in  congressional subcommittees.  It is easiest to successfully lobby if one party controls a given branch of Congress  for a lengthy period of time.  o When there are changes back and forth, it makes things more difficult o There are new players in charge of committees and in leadership, and each party prefers a different set of institutional procedures and rules.  49. The representation problem- Legislators Claim that they have a hard time determining whom a group’s lobbyists represents. Without knowing the composition of the interest group, the loyalty of the group members to the group, and the salience of the member of the interest group about the lobbyist’s position, they (legislatures) cannot know whether or not the lobbyist’s claims match the group claims. 50. Legislator difficulties determining whom lobbyists represent  Salience- the importance or relevance of an issue  Group preference- the preferences of group leadership may not be the same as the preferences of group membership  Group composition- some of the group exists only in paper and have no actual membership  Crossover effects - lobbyists with impressive client lists can use that  influence to help their less celebrated clients 51. Interactions between legislators and lobbyists  Lobbyists provide very useful function in providing information to legislators  They have access to expert information  They can analyze the impact of proposed legislation on their areas of concern  Legislator’s personal confidants and constituents typically hold more influence,  but it is not at all uncommon for legislators to contact lobbyists for advice.   This is especially true when drafting very complex legislation 52. Statutory regulations of lobbyists  Merchant Marine Act of 1936- The Merchant Marine Act of 1936  required lobbyists who wanted to lobby Congress to alter shipping regulations to  register with the Commerce Department before they could lobby  Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946- Reorganization Act of  1946 mandated that lobbyists register their affiliations and record their finances.  1995 Lobbying Disclosure Act - Lobbying disclosure act requires  lobbyists and lobbying firms to file twice yearly reports for each of their separate  clients.  Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007- The  new law requires lawmakers seeking targeted spending projects, earmarks, to  divulge their plans in advance  53. Informal means of regulating lobbying  Controlling access o Legislators are under no obligation of any kind to meet with a lobbyists o Without Access, lobbyists have much less power o Lobbyists argue that without access decisions might be made against their  favor  Audits o Legislator can have a rule that they will audit the claims of lobbyists from  time to time o They will verify that the claims of the lobbyists are true o If there is a possibility of an audit, it helps to increase the likelihood that  everything will be honest  Reputations o Lobbyists state repeatedly that their reputation for honesty and  forthrightness are very important to them


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