Affirmative Advocacy: Race, Class, and Gender in Interest by Dara Z. Strolovitch

By Dara Z. Strolovitch

The usa boasts rankings of firms that supply the most important illustration for teams which are marginalized in nationwide politics, from girls to racial minorities to the bad. the following, within the first systematic learn of those corporations, Dara Z. Strolovitch explores the demanding situations and possibilities they face within the new millennium, as waning felony discrimination coincides with expanding political and fiscal inequalities within the populations they signify. Drawing on wealthy new info from a survey of 286 businesses and interviews with 40 officers, Strolovitch unearths that groups too usually prioritize the pursuits in their so much advantaged contributors: male instead of woman racial minorities, for instance, or prosperous instead of bad girls. yet Strolovitch additionally unearths that many businesses try and therapy this inequity, and she or he concludes through distilling their most sensible practices right into a set of rules that she calls affirmative advocacy—a kind of illustration that goals to beat the entrenched yet frequently sophisticated biases opposed to humans on the intersection of a couple of marginalized crew. Intelligently combining political concept with subtle empirical equipment, Affirmative Advocacy could be required studying for college students and students of yankee politics.

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Extra resources for Affirmative Advocacy: Race, Class, and Gender in Interest Group Politics

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While my study draws on the insights of these important bodies of work, it also reorients traditional questions about political representation by moving away from the typical focus on elected officials, concentrating instead on organizations that represent marginalized groups in national politics. The book also tries to refocus our expectations about what constitutes “good” representation by engaging Melissa Williams’ (1998) evocative conception of representatives as mediators. Williams argues that representation is most centrally a form of mediation in which representatives intercede on behalf of their constituents’ interests in the state’s policies and actions.

Median Members | In his classic book, Anthony Downs argues that political parties and candidates choose policy positions that appeal to the “median voter” in order to maximize the number of voters casting ballots for them closer to a pluralist heaven? · 21 (see also Black 1948). ” As a consequence, interest groups are likely to ignore targeted issues affecting numerically small subgroups—whether weak or strong—in favor of issues that have a wide impact and that affect their median member. Similarly, in order to avoid alienating allies, contributors, members, and potential members, organizations avoid issues that are unpopular or controversial among their members or the public, as are many of the issues affecting disadvantaged groups (Kollman 1998; Rothenberg 1992; M.

Policies affecting disadvantaged subgroups are often politically salient or high on the policy agenda, but when they are, they are almost by definition political “losers” (if they were not, these subgroups would no longer be quite so disadvantaged), so pursuing the interests of such subgroups on these issues is rarely a surefire route to policy success. Niches | In line with these strategic rationales, the niche theories of William Browne (1990) and Virginia Gray and David Lowery (1996) suggest another set of reasons that organizations will not be very active on behalf of disadvantaged subgroups of their constituencies.

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