Competitive Informational Lobbying in Congress: Can Citizen Groups Compete on New Policy Issues?
57 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2010 Last revised: 30 Mar 2013
Date Written: April 2, 2010
An important question to interest group scholars is whether citizen groups can effectively compete with industry groups in legislative arenas for influence (i.e. Holyoke 2008, Berry 1999). This paper compares the use of information by industry and citizen groups in Congressional hearings between 1985-2004 in two new issue areas (computer technology, biotechnology) and two older issue areas (agriculture, chemical regulation). While technology industry groups have a significant asymmetric information advantages over citizen groups and congressional committees when the technology is new, over time citizen groups can counter this informational advantage by providing policy and political information to Congressional hearings that counteracts the industry's informational arguments. This project is part of a larger project that examines the strategic contexts interest group information plays in lobbying and how this changes as political and policy circumstances change. This research project advances our understanding of the role that policy and political changes over time play in interest group informational lobbying strategies and the relative distribution of influence over time in the interest group system.
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