Friends or Foes? The Impact of Political Allies and Social Movement Activity on Environmental Legislation in Congress
18 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2014
Date Written: December 13, 2013
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
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