Power to the partner : organizational coalitions and minority representation in federal rulemaking

Dwidar, Maraam Ahmed
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How do advocates for minorities gain influence in bureaucratic policymaking? In this dissertation, I argue that organizations representing minorities strategically form coalitions to compensate for the costly nature of bureaucratic lobbying. I develop a general theory of the mechanisms of coalition influence and formation by these advocates. I test this theory through a text analysis of two original corpora of public comments to federal agencies by over 12,000 organizations between 2004 and 2015. I show that while organizational advocates for minorities frequently collaborate in lobbying, coalitional lobbying does not significantly enhance their policy influence. Rather, I show that the influence of minority advocates is significantly heightened when lobbying in coalitions with greater numbers of elite partners. Finally, I show that in contrast to the experience of organizational advocates for minorities, coalitional lobbying significantly enhances the policy influence of mainstream organizational advocates. This project sheds new light on the study of representation and lobbying in bureaucratic policymaking, whilst offering a theoretical framework for better understanding the role of collaboration and information in American rulemaking.