ABOUT THIS BOOK
Competitive Interests does more than simply challenge the long-held belief that a small set of interests control large domains of the public policy making landscape. It shows how the explosion in the sheer number of new groups, and the broad range of ideological demands they advocate, have created a form of group politics emphasizing compromise as much as conflict. Thomas T. Holyoke offers a model of strategic lobbying that shows why some group lobbyists feel compelled to fight stronger, wealthier groups even when they know they will lose.
Holyoke interviewed 83 lobbyists who have been advocates on several contentious issues, including Arctic oil drilling, environmental conservation, regulating genetically modified foods, money laundering, and bankruptcy reform. He offers answers about what kinds of policies are more likely to lead to intense competition and what kinds of interest groups have an advantage in protracted conflicts. He also discusses the negative consequences of group competition, such as legislative gridlock, and discusses what lawmakers can do to steer interest groups toward compromise. The book concludes with an exploration of greater group competition, conflict, and compromise and what consequences this could have for policymaking in a representation-based political system.