Lobbying on Behalf of God: Religious Interest Groups and the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
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The purpose of this dissertation is to ascertain the role and effect religious interest groups have on the policy process in the United States. The study looks at the Association of Christian Schools International, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and their attempts to influence the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Victor argues that the only way to measure interest group influence is to study the lobbying actions of a group on a given issue. Lobbying efforts are usually referred to as inside or outside lobbyism according to whether these activities occur inside or outside the legislative community. It has been argued that religious interest groups prefer the outside strategy in order to remain faithful to their religious beliefs. The results are based on official data from Congress and the White House, and data from the three organisations. These data are supplemented by interviews with John Holmes, Nathan Diament, and Rev. William Davis who were all heavily involved in the organisations’ lobbying efforts. The Association of Christian Schools International, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops were reasonably successful in their attempts to influence the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. They used the inside strategy more than the outside strategy, but remained faithful. Religious interest groups are influential, and will continue to influence the legislative process in the United States in the future.
UtgiverThe University of Bergen
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