Friends or Foes? The Impact of Political Allies and Social Movement Activity on Environmental Legislation in Congress

18 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2014

See all articles by Susan Olzak

Susan Olzak

Stanford University

Sarah Soule

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Marion Coddou

Stanford University

John Munoz

Stanford University

Date Written: December 13, 2013

Abstract

This paper challenges implications from leading social movement theories of policy change by presenting results that cast doubt on the benefits of having elite allies. Using event history techniques, we show that bill sponsors identified as strong allies of the environmental movement have a significantly lower chance of enacting pro-environmental legislation. Instead, successful legislators had environmental voting records closer to the median voter in Congress, are members of the dominant political party, and hold positions as chairs of environmental committees. While environmental lobbyist groups positively influence the passage of legislation, contrary to conventional wisdom, peaceful protest has no significant effect on legislative outcomes.

Keywords: Social Movements, Congressional Legislation, Environmental Bills

Suggested Citation

Olzak, Susan and Soule, Sarah and Coddou, Marion and Munoz, John, Friends or Foes? The Impact of Political Allies and Social Movement Activity on Environmental Legislation in Congress (December 13, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2384197 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2384197

Susan Olzak (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.stanford.edu/dept/soc/people/slozak/

Sarah Soule

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Marion Coddou

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

John Munoz

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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