Influencing Public Policies
DOI link for Influencing Public Policies
Influencing Public Policies book
This chapter examines several important changes in the United State national power structure at the end of the twentieth century. Three broad theoretical perspectives on US national power structures, developed by sociologists and political scientists, seek to explain the changing involvement of business interest groups in the US political system: class, elite, and pluralist theories. In pluralistic power structures, public institutions, political parties, corporations, and voluntary associations all mobilized and deployed sufficient political resources to gain attention from the officials whose decisions affected their interests. A leader invested financial capital in some organizational benefits—including favorable public policy decisions—and members paid annual dues to receive these rewards. However, the crucial test was not demonstrating growth in sheer weight of numbers, but rather explaining which organized interests tended to prevail in shaping public policies. Constitutional checks and balances provided alternative opportunities for organized interests to influence public policy decisions.