Describing the activity of a specific interest group within one of five designated issue conflicts.
Here is a list of questions you may wish to address in your individual papers. Depending on your group and your issue, some of these questions may not be particularly important. It is up to you as the expert on your group to determine what the most important lessons are to include in your paper.
Is your group international, national, regional or local? Was a local chapter particularly active on your issue, or was the national association a key player, or both? Was the issue national, regional or local? Did this have any bearing on your group’s activity and success?
Does your group have individual or institutional members? How many members does it have? About how many individuals were notably active on your team issue? Who were the key players and what exactly did they do?
What is your group?s mission? Why did your group get involved in the team issue?
What is the latent group from which your organization draws its members? What is their shared interest? Is it a large latent group or a small one? What benefits does your organization confer to individuals who join? Does the organization rely on selective benefits? Material, solidary or expressive benefits? Is free-riding a problem?
Does your organization represent a dominant or subordinate group in society? How about with respect to your team issue?
How is your group funded? Membership dues, voluntary donations, grants from other private sources, government grants, an individual patron? Which source is most important?
What kinds of tactics did your group employ on the team issue? Inside lobbying? Outside lobbying? Electoral strategies? Behind-the-scenes maneuvering of some sort? Something else? Why did your group employ certain tactics and not others?
What special assets does your organization possess? Do they have special expertise and credibility on the team issue?
How old is your organization? Is it longstanding? Did it form in response to the team issue? Does this seem to matter for how the organization pressed its interest and how well it achieved its goals?
What is the legal status of your organization? Does it maintain multiple entities (i.e., a 527, a 501(c) and a PAC) or not? If it only has one legal arm, what does that suggest about the group? For example, if your group operates primarily through a 527, does that affect how it competes with another groups in the issue space who might use different forms?
Did your group join a formal coalition on the team issue? Why or why not? Did your group?s efforts duplicate another group?s activity? Does your group?s membership overlap with another group?s? Did you find evidence of partitioning or some other division of labor?
Did your group achieve its policy goals with respect to the team issue? Why or why not?
Compared to other groups, was your group a major player with a lot of influence over the policy decisions about your team issue? Why or why not?
Was your group?s membership unified in support of the position or the approach the group took on the team issue? Or was there significant dissent? Why and what were the consequences?
What worked and what didn?t for your group?
Here are some suggestions for information sources:
Organization web sites
Accounts published by regular news outlets (print or electronic). An especially good source of information about Arizona state legislation is Arizona Capitol Report. Good sources of information about federal legislation include Roll Call, Congressional Quarterly and The Hill.
Accounts published by blogs or other web sites*
Interviews with organization representatives or other individuals active in the policy conflict
For the Sources for the paper, please use Scholarly journals when possible. Use facts to draw your own conclusions about the group, and describe how they are and how they operate.
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