SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 13.1: Victor, J. N. (2007). Strategic lobbying: Demonstrating how legislative context affects interest groups’ lobbying tactics. American Politics Research, 35(6), 826–845.

Abstract: Do interest groups strategically select lobbying tactics in response to the legislative context of policies they wish to influence? As rational actors, interest groups should be keen to spend their resources wisely by responding strategically to legislative contexts. This research suggests a theoretical and empirical framework and attempts to explain variations in interest group behavior at the policy level. The empirical design associates direct and indirect interest group lobbying activities with specific policies and tests the hypothesis that interest groups use legislative context as a part of their decision calculus when considering how to lobby Congress. I find that measures of legislative context are important components of models of direct and indirect lobbying.

Journal Article 13.2: Ozymy, J. (2013). Keepin’ on the sunny side: Scandals, organized interests, and the passage of legislative lobbying laws in the American states. American Politics Research, 41(1), 3–23.

Abstract: Political Scientists have widely explored why legislatures pass campaign finance regulations and how these laws condition the influence of organized interests over elected officials. Studies have not explained how state houses can overcome entrenched interests, to pass more restrictive legislative lobbying laws. Interest group pressure can be overcome when routine politics are impacted by agenda-setting environments and broader state political contexts that prompt the passage of legislative lobbying reforms. Findings suggest that although moralistic political culture and political scandals set the agenda for stricter regulation, the prospects for reform are tempered by the power of organized interests in state houses.

Journal Article 13.3: Victor, J. N., & Reinhardt, G. Y. (2018). Competing for the platform: How organized interests affect party positioning in the United States. Party Politics24(3), 265–277.

Abstract: What explains which groups are included in a party coalition in any given election cycle? Recent advances in political party theory suggest that policy demanders comprise parties, and that the composition of a party coalition varies from election to election. We theorize three conditions under which parties articulate an interest group’s preferred positions in its quadrennial platform: when groups are ideologically proximate to the party median, when groups display party loyalty, and when groups are flush with resources. Using computer-assisted content analysis on a unique and rich data source, we examine three cycles of testimony that 80 organized groups provided to the Democratic Party. The analysis compares group requests with the content of Democratic and Republican National Committee platforms in 1996, 2000, and 2004. Results show that parties reward loyal groups and those that are ideologically proximate to the party but offer no confirmation of a resource effect.

Journal Article 13.4: Strickland, J. (2019). America’s Crowded Statehouses: Measuring and Explaining Lobbying in the U.S. States. State Politics & Policy Quarterly.

Abstract: Across the United States over time, numbers of registered interest groups have continued to increase, but these populations mask the total amount of lobbying that is occurring within America’s statehouses. Among registered interests, average numbers of hired lobbyists have increased markedly since the late 1980s. This study both quantifies this increase and identifies a set of causal variables. Previous studies have proposed a variety of short-term, political and long-term, institutional factors that govern rates of lobbying. Using a new data set spanning multiple decades, I find that changes in lobbying can largely be ascribed to institutional variables, including the implementation of term limits and regulations on lobbying. Lobby regulations, one-party dominance, and legislative expenditures also appear to play a role in determining rates of multiclient lobbying. Direct democracy and state spending do not affect the hiring of lobbyists by registered interest groups.