Counting the Voices in the Heavenly Chorus: Pressure Participants in Washington Politics
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The research project reported on in this chapter began with a pledge: No new data. But asking me and my long-time collaborators Sidney Verba and Henry Brady not to collect new data is akin – to paraphrase Calvin Trillin – to suggesting that the customs official exhibit no curiosity about the plastic bag containing the white powder. We soon broke that initial vow and now find ourselves with an extensive database of Washington pressure participants – organizations that have sought policy influence in Washington – assembled to serve as the complement to individuallevel data in a study of inequalities of political voice in American democracy.1 In this chapter, I address the twin tasks of explaining how the findings from the data set inform the objectives of our inquiry and suggesting lessons from the massive challenge of data gathering that might assist those conducting subsequent efforts in this vein.
KeywordsVoluntary Association Business Association National Politics Political Equality General Account Office
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