Dissertation Title: Interest Groups, Lobbying and Polarization in the United States
Committee: Marc Meredith, Matt Levendusky, John Lapinski
Dissertation Summary: My dissertation explores how lobbying from advocacy organizations - like the NRA, Sierra Club or Planned Parenthood - is different than business lobbying. These citizen-based groups pursue broader goals and use different tactics, such as placing their issues on legislative agendas and pushing legislators to vote along party lines. My findings help explain high levels of polarization in the modern US Congress and an uneven pattern of polarization in the American state legislatures.