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Lawrence Rothenberg examines some of the most elusive aspects of interest group operations through an in-depth study of one of the largest interest groups in Washington, Common Cause. In developing what might be called a membership theory, he asks such questions as: Why do members join a group? Who stays and who leaves and why? What is the nature of the relationships among the activists, the group leaders and the rank-and-file members? How do these relationships shape the lobbying policies of the group? How is the lobbying impact of a group related to the nature of its membership? In addition, Rothenberg analyzes the impact the lobbying efforts of Common Cause have had through case studies of the Congressional vote on the MX missile system and of the agenda setting behind the campaign finance reform bill.
Reviews & endorsements
"Among the book's considerable strengths are its methodological sophistication, its use of the concept of experiential search, and its treatment of the connectedness of decisions at individual. organizational, and policy levels." Contemporary SociologySee more reviews
"To my knowledge this is the first time someone has made the useful distinction between members, activists, and leaders in an interest group and actually produced data about the activists. I believe it is one of the best interest-group studies ever done." Andrew McFarland, University of Illinois at Chicago
"...an important book that should be read by interest group scholars and those interested in general represenation matters in American politics....What Rothenberg has provided is a way to think about and conduct research on individual groups as integrated entities. It is a large step in the right direction." Allan J. Cigler, American Political Science Review
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- Date Published: July 1992
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521415606
- length: 328 pages
- dimensions: 242 x 158 x 22 mm
- weight: 0.64kg
- contains: 11 b/w illus. 38 tables
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
List of figures
List of tables
1. Organized groups and the political system
2. A unified framework for understanding citizens' decision making: a theory of experimental search
3. Who contributes?
4. Why do citizens join groups?
5. The internal politics of organizations I: learning and retention
6. The internal politics of organizations II: activism
7. The internal politics of organizations III: leadership
8. Does group activity make a difference: the case of the MX missile
9. Does group activity make a difference? The politics of campaign finance
10. Conclusions: citizens' preferences, internal politics, and public policy
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