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Interest Groups and Campaign Finance Reform in the United States and Canada

Robert G. Boatright

Publication Year: 2011

This book is a valuable contribution to the study of campaign finance in the U.S. and Canada. Its comparative analysis highlights the role of institutions in shaping group activity, the extraordinary role of interest groups in American electoral politics, and the inherent difficulty in regulating group activity without stifling debate. It belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in election finance law. ---Lisa Young, University of Calgary "Boatright finds the right balance of perspective and real-world application to make this a truly informative and valuable read, even for those of us who play in the political arena. He doesn't suffer from the myopia of political correctness that afflicts so many who write on campaign finance." ---Gregory Casey, President and CEO, Business-Industry PAC (BIPAC) "A meticulously researched book that political scientists will find to be a serious contribution to the literature on campaign finance and interest groups." ---Peter Francia, East Carolina University In the early 2000s, the United States and Canada implemented new campaign finance laws restricting the ability of interest groups to make political contributions and to engage in political advertising. Whereas both nations' legislative reforms sought to reduce the role of interest groups in campaigns, these laws have had opposite results in the two nations. In the United States, interest groups remained influential by developing broad coalitions aimed at mobilizing individual voters and contributors. In Canada, interest groups largely withdrew from election campaigns, and, thus, important voices in elections have gone silent. Robert G. Boatright explains such disparate results by placing campaign finance reforms in the context of ongoing political and technological changes. Robert G. Boatright is Associate Professor of Political Science at Clark University. Cover photo: © iStockphoto.com / alfabravoalpharomeo

Published by: University of Michigan Press


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pp. 1-7

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pp. 8-11

This project has a long and complicated history. From 2002 through 2004,I was part of a research team at the Campaign Finance Institute that wasexploring the effect of campaign ‹nance reform on organized interests. Ihad the privilege of being in Washington, within a few blocks of all ofthese groups’ headquarters, as they were planning their strategies for the...

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Author’s Note

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pp. 12-13

One of the perils of writing an academic work about contemporary poli-tics is the risk that a book starts to become out of date the moment it ap-pears in print. In both the United States and Canada, campaign ‹nancelaw is very much in turmoil. Canada’s prorogation crisis of late 2008added an unexpected twist late in the writing of this book, and the U.S....

List of Acronyms

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pp. 14-15

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Introduction: Interest Groups and Campaign Finance Reform—A Natural Experiment

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pp. 16-37

...“What’s most important is that we elect a president with the provenability to bring Democrats and Republicans together to get results so“Maybe I’ve just lived a little too long, but I have no illusions abouthow hard this is going to be. You are not going to wave a magic wand“I understand who I work for. I don’t work for a party. I don’t work...

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I. The Roots of Reform

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pp. 38-97

Within many sub‹elds of political science, it has been possible to makeadvances in our knowledge of political institutions and behavior withoutplacing the United States in a pivotal role. For example, many of the clas-sic works on political parties, such as those of Duverger or Michels, havemade enduring contributions to our knowledge of political parties as a...

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II. Consequences of Reform

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pp. 98-227

Campaign ‹nance reform in both the United States and Canada had sev-eral immediate effects. As the two nations’ laws intended, corporate andlabor spending played less of a role in the immediate postreform electionsthan had previously been the case. Changes in individual contributionlimits also ensured that individuals played a much larger role in funding...

Appendix: A Primer on Brokerage Parties

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pp. 228-231


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pp. 232-239

List of Interviews

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pp. 240-241


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pp. 242-257


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pp. 258-276

E-ISBN-13: 9780472026753
E-ISBN-10: 0472026755
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472051441
Print-ISBN-10: 047205144X

Page Count: 276
Illustrations: 14 Tables, 1 Figure
Publication Year: 2011

OCLC Number: 712773894
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Interest Groups and Campaign Finance Reform in the United States and Canada

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Campaign funds -- United States.
  • Campaign funds -- Canada.
  • Pressure groups -- United States.
  • Pressure groups -- Canada.
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