2nd Edition

Interest Groups and Lobbying Pursuing Political Interests in America

By Thomas T. Holyoke Copyright 2021
    390 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    390 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Interest Groups and Lobbying shows how political organizations and their lobbyists play a crucial role in how policy is made in the United States. It cuts through the myths and misconceptions about interest groups and lobbyists with an accessible and comprehensive text supported by real world examples and the latest research.

    New to the Second Edition

    • Fully updates and expands the discussion of social media and other online activity engaged in by interest groups, showing that they have become more sophisticated in their use of the internet – especially social media – for keeping current members informed and for their advocacy work.

    • New case studies on more recent advocacy efforts.

    • Updated data used in the book, including:

    • Total number and types of interest groups lobbying in Washington, DC

    • Total number and types of interest groups lobbying in the fifty states

    • Data on campaign contributions

    • Data on amicus briefs and case sponsorship

    • Data on stages of the lawmaking process where interest groups appear to lobby the most

    • New data on revolving-door lobbyists

    Table of Contents


    List of figures and tables

    Introduction: First Shoot All of the Lobbyists?

    Part One: Origins and Structures

    Chapter One: Interests and Interest Groups

    Defining Interests (and Interest Groups)

    A Culture of Self-Interest

    Lobbying and the Right of Interests to Petition

    A Very Brief History of Interest Groups in the United States

    In Summary

    Chapter Two: Collective Action and Interest Group Organization

    Collective Action in an Individualistic Nation

    Who Joins Interest Groups?

    Starting Up Interest Groups

    Types of Organized Interests

    State Interest Groups and Group Population Limits

    The Diversity of Interests

    In Summary

    Chapter Three: Social Movements and Activism

    Cracking Open, Not Tearing Down, the System

    Recipe for a Successful Social Movement

    Social Movement or Interest Group?

    Outside to Inside: Organized Labor in American Politics

    Countermovement Cycles in Business Advocacy

    Social Movement Protest in an Online World

    Case Study – Hashtags Can Matter

    In Summary

    Chapter Four: Lobbyists and Organization Management

    Information and Representation

    Participation in Interest Groups

    Who Are Lobbyists?

    The Politics of Interest Group Maintenance

    In Summary

    Chapter Five: A Model of Interest Group Advocacy

    Lobbyists in the Middle

    Interest Group Member Pressure

    Policy Maker Pressure

    The Alignment of Interests

    The Strategic Lobbyist

    In Summary


    Part Two: Lobbying and Influence

    Chapter Six: Lobbying Congress, the Most Permeable Branch

    A Multiplicity of Pressure Points

    The Constituency Connection

    Circles of Friends

    Committees and Parties

    Case Study – Fighting Financial Reform

    In Summary

    Chapter Seven: Executive Branch Lobbying

    Lobbying the White House

    Lobbying the Bureaucracy

    Case Study – Fight for Net Neutrality

    In Summary

    Chapter Eight: Interest Groups Going to Court

    Shaping the Bench

    Litigating for Change

    Who Sues

    Friends of the Court

    Case Study – Second Amendment Lobbying

    In Summary

    Chapter Nine: Friends and Foes of Convenience

    Competitive Differences and Strange Bedfellows

    Coalition Politics

    Other Partners

    The Timing of Conflict and Cooperation

    Competition and Venue Shopping

    Case Study – To Frack, or Not to Frack

    In Summary

    Chapter Ten: Interest Groups, Elections, and Campaign Finance

    A Brief History of Contributing

    Types of PACs

    Why Form a PAC?

    What Does it All Buy?

    Strategic Giving


    Case Study – Shifting Politics at the Chamber

    In Summary

    Conclusion: Representation in the Interest Group Age

    Ethics in Lobbying

    Lobbying Reform

    Neopluralist Politics

    Final Thoughts




    Thomas T. Holyoke is Professor of Political Science at California State University, Fresno. He is a specialist in interest group politics, as well as education policy and Western water policy. In addition to over three dozen articles and book chapters, he has published several books on interest groups, lobbying, and public policymaking, most recently The Ethical Lobbyist: Reforming Washington’s Influence Industry (Georgetown University Press, 2016).

    Praise for the Second Edition

    "Exceptional in scope and clarity, Holyoke’s Interest Groups and Lobbying is sure to become a mainstay for students and scholars of American politics. Holyoke presents a comprehensive and timely review of existing theory and empirical research." 

    James Strickland, Arizona State University

    Praise for the First Edition

    "Interest Groups and Lobbying provides a compelling and thoughtful examination of lobbying and advocacy that allows students to consider the topic in both an applied and theoretically rigorous way."

    —Interest Groups & Advocacy

    "Interest Groups and Lobbying is an engaging, informed, and innovative analysis of interest groups and lobbying. More than simply a description of lobbyist 'dos and don'ts,' this book provides a serious model for understanding the real-world issues that lobbyists and the groups they work for face."
    Rodd Freitag, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire

    "Interest Groups and Lobbying will challenge students to rethink their assumptions about interest groups, and think more critically about the problems of representation in the interest group age."
    Bryan McQuide, Grand View University and University of Idaho

    "Perhaps most useful for teaching students about lobbying are the case studies on national parks, gun control, and the US Chamber of Commerce."
    Heath Brown, Seton Hall University

    "This book will be of value to all who seek to understand the mobilization of interests from the grassroots to the inner corridors of power."
    Michael T. Heaney, University of Michigan

    "Holyoke provides a rich theoretical account of interest groups, along with both quantitative data and in-depth case studies to understand how organizations form and shape public policy in a variety of contexts."
    Paul M. Collins Jr., University of North Texas