By Mark Fagan
Lobbying: Business, Law and Public Policy, Why and How 12,000 People Spend $3+ Billion Impacting Our Government provides students, practitioners and engaged citizens with an understanding of this highly charged aspect of American democracy.
Mention the words "lobbying" and "lobbyist" to a friend or colleague and you will likely get a strong response. Some people view lobbying as nothing more than the practice of buying influence, power and legislation. To others, lobbying plays a vital part of our policymaking process, enabling us to exercise one of our most treasured constitutional rights -- the right to petition the government. In reality, both positions have merit and that is what makes lobbying such an interesting practice. Lobbying is a multibillion-dollar industry that impacts all aspects of public policy at the highest level of government. At the same time, it is also the avenue by which average citizens meet with their government representative to request action.
Lobbying is inherently a multi-disciplinary topic. Effective lobbying requires understanding the political and policymaking process. It is also a function of human psychology and strategy consulting. Many lobbyists have a legal background, which enables them to draft and dissect legislation and make meaningful recommendations, but some are former politicians, businessmen and communications specialists.
Lastly, lobbying requires business acumen, drawing on skills such as networking, consulting and public relations. While these disciplines can be looked at separately, lobbying requires the study of all of them together.
The goal of this book is to take the mystery and hyperbole out of lobbying and explain the business, law and public policy aspects of the field; one that is not going away. By the last page you will understand and appreciate (1) the history of lobbying from King Solomon to the present day; (2) the business of lobbying; (3) the laws, regulations and ethics that accompany lobbying; (4) the art and science of effective lobbying; and (5) the differences in lobbying worldwide.
Mark Fagan is Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University and a founding partner of the strategy consulting firm Norbridge, Inc. He earned a BA in economics from Bucknell University (1977), and a Masters degree in City and Regional Planning from Harvard University (1979).
March 2015, Paperback, 254 Pages