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Interest Groups

Readings and Links

Interest Groups Quiz

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Suggested Reading

Birnbaum, Jeffrey H., and Alan S. Murray. Showdown at Gucci Gulch. Reprint, New York: Vintage, 1988.

A readable and fascinating account of interest group activity during the debates over tax reform in the mid-1980s.

Cigler, Allan J., and Burdett A. Loomis, ed. Interest Groups Politics. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press, 1983.

A well-respected study of the strategies, tactics, and impact of interest groups.

Day, Christine. What Older Americans Think: Interest Groups and Aging Policy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990.

Senior citizens have great influence on American politics because they vote in large numbers and are served by interest groups, such as AARP. Day examines how interest groups devoted to senior issues interact with their constituents, paying close attention to the impact the groups have on policy.

Lowi, Theodore J. The End of Liberalism. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 1979.

Lowi examines the impact of the rise of interest groups on American democracy.

Olson, Mancur, Jr. The Logic of Collective Action. Rev. ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971.

Olson’s account of why people join interest groups—and why noneconomic groups have trouble recruiting and keeping members—was groundbreaking, and the book remains very influential.

Rozell, Mark J., and Clyde Wilcox. Interest Groups in American Campaigns. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press, 1999.

Two top political scientists explore the role that interest groups play in campaigns.

Useful Websites

http://api-ec.api.org/frontpage.cfm

Homepage of the American Petroleum Institute.

www.aarp.org

AARP is the nation’s largest interest group, with millions of members. It wields significant influence over issues associated with aging.

www.aflcio.org

The homepage of the AFL-CIO, a large umbrella organization for labor unions.

www.nationalgrange.org

The website for the oldest general farm organization in America.

www.nea.org/index.html

The homepage of the National Education Association.

www.nih.gov/sigs/

A list of scientific special interest groups.

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