IV. Normative Views of Interest Groups and Foreign Policy

A. "National Interest" Critique

  1. Specific interests undermine national interests
  2. Realist scholars and activists critical of IG role
  3. Foreign policy experts are 'guardians' of national interest
  4. How do you determine the national interest in a democracy?

B. Pluralism and Democracy

  1. representation of views is appropriate
  2. political competition over policy improves it
  3. government does not have exclusive "expertise"
  4. private interests could 'hijack' state policy

C. Neo-Pluralism and 'Genuine' Democracy

  1. publicity is essential to pluralism
  2. access among groups is not equal
  3. monied interests may be heard more often

V. How Much Influence do Interest Groups Have?

A. Difficult to Measure

  1. lack of transparency in decisionmaking
  2. lobbying activity visible
  3. some decisions not proposed for fear of opposition

B. Over-Determined Policies

  1. USG may have pursued similar policy, otherwise
  2. Multiple groups may want same outcome (e.g., Cuba sanctions)

C. Mutually Cancelling Influence

  1. Lobbies may collide with each other (e.g. arms sales to Arab states)
  2. Compromise may be interpreted differently

D. Blocking v. Creating

  1. Easier to block a policy change
  2. Harder to create a policy change
  3. Are there any strong opponents domestically?

E. Presidential Role

  1. defying a president is hard
  2. president's interest matters: Israeli loan guarantees, 1991 v. Azeri aid, 1991-2002

F. Electoral v. Policy Influence

  1. confusing money with power
  2. candidates pander...
  3. but policy may not change
  4. symbolic politics important

VI. Special Dilemmas of Ethnic Interest Groups

A. Divided Loyalty

  1. hyphenate-American dilemma
  2. promotion of liberty and ethnic identity

B. Exile-Based Diasporas

  1. Cuban, Israeli, Armenian activism
  2. German, Portuguese, Norwegian quiescence

C. Lobbying Advantages

  1. Ethnic identities generate group cohesion
  2. Focus attention on one country
  3. Often no clear opposition
  4. Claims to unique information

D. Lobbying Dis-Advantages

  1. Accusations of disloyalty by "non-ethnics"
  2. Other ethnic groups may counter-lobby
  3. Other countries may oppose effort diplomatically