SIGs and Politics

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

Spazeboy writes in an older post:

The research paper is for American Political Economy, and the topic I’ve tentatively chosen to write about is “How do corporations/associations/industries mobilize politically to protect their business models?”

Isn’t this about researching the activities and influence of special interest groups or industry lobbies?

One response to “SIGs and Politics”

  1. spazeboy says:

    Yes. In fact, I fine-tuned my topic a bit before I turned in my prospectus. Here’s the first paragraph, which summarizes the thrust of the paper I hope to write:

    I plan to explore successes and failures of corporations that mobilize politically to advance their interests. Interest groups acting on behalf of corporations have greater influence on legislative outcomes than the unorganized voters that outnumber them. Corporate political mobilization appears to be more effective in part due to the fact that legislation is complex—only especially motivated persons attempt to understand the process enough to directly influence it—and that the costs of most pro-business outcomes are diffused widely among the taxpayers. Even in cases where the costs are large or apparent, business retains an organizing advantage because the costs for unorganized voters to organize are large enough to outweigh the costs of remaining unorganized. The opposite is true for corporate interests, which are sufficiently large enough to merit organizing interest groups, employing lobbyists, and forming political action committees to influence legislative outcomes. Because I plan to explore the relationship between rent-seeking corporations, the interest groups and PACs mobilized on their behalf, the state, and the citizens, I believe that this topic is relevant to the course.

    The only problem I foresee is that the paper is limited to a maximum of 20 pages and I’ve got a lot of ground to cover.