Lobbying at the Water's Edge: The Corporate Foreign Policy Lobby

36 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2015

See all articles by Emilie Marie Hafner-Burton

Emilie Marie Hafner-Burton

UCSD School of Global Policy and Strategy

Thad Kousser

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Political Science

David G. Victor

UC San Diego, School of Global Policy and Strategy

Date Written: July 13, 2015

Abstract

Each year, groups ranging from multinationals to non-profits spend hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying America’s federal government on foreign policy. This massive flow of private dollars raises concerns about the health of political pluralism in the realm of America’s international relations. Using an original dataset that combines tens of thousands of Lobbying Disclosure Act filings from 2007 to 2011, information on the content of proposed legislation, and financial data on all publically listed firms in the U.S., we argue that corporate interests dominate the foreign policy lobby; that there are inequalities among firms in lobbying investment that parallel market advantages; and that the firms that lobby are not representative of the median voter. Rather than providing counteractive lobbying that represents the broad range of American opinion, the multitude of voices that lobby major foreign policy bills affecting America’s stance in the world are likely compounding the bias towards large corporations that on average advocate center-right positions.

Suggested Citation

Hafner-Burton, Emilie Marie and Kousser, Thad and Victor, David G., Lobbying at the Water's Edge: The Corporate Foreign Policy Lobby (July 13, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2685387 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2685387

Emilie Marie Hafner-Burton (Contact Author)

UCSD School of Global Policy and Strategy ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

HOME PAGE: http://gps.ucsd.edu/ehafner/

Thad Kousser

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Political Science ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Code 0521
La Jolla, CA 92093-0521
United States

David G. Victor

UC San Diego, School of Global Policy and Strategy ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

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