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date: 19 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

While lobbyists are colloquially thought of as parasites on US democracy, this article offers the perspective that lobbyists are part of vital connective tissue that facilitates interaction between principal players and institutions of policymaking. After a brief review of the history of lobbying in the United States, the article outlines four paradigmatic lenses through which lobbying has been understood—pluralist, realist, behavioral, and relational. It then makes the case that the relational lens is the most productive means of studying and understanding the role of lobbying in the United States. The article concludes with noting the considerable challenges to this field of study.

Keywords: lobbying, networks, relational, pluralism, representation, social capital, groups, policy, advocacy, politics

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