Political Science | K Street: The Politics of Organized Interests
Y200 | 3709 | Gerrity

2nd Eight Weeks

Some of you may have wondered when you signed up for this course,
what and where is K Street? The K Street in question is located in
Washington D.C., just north of the White House and northwest of
Capital Hill. K Street is home to a host of lobbyists whose
livelihood, and the interests of the groups they represent, depend on
their close proximity to “the Hill.” Groups of all kinds organize in
response to the effects that government actions (or inaction) have
on their profession, union, gender, race, religious group or other
mutual interest. In this course we will examine interest group theory
and practice in U.S. politics. We will start by examining the way in
which interest groups were conceived at the inception of America’s
founding, and we will move on to contemporary interest group
politics. We will explore questions such as: How and why do groups
form? Which interests are represented the most in American politics?
What interests are under-represented? What are the different
strategies and tactics that groups use to try to influence public
policy? How does the recent Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance
reform impact the role that interest groups play in American
politics? You will have an opportunity to pursue these questions
throughout this course, in several different venues.