Interest Groups and Advocacy

Most Members of Congress would agree that “if lobbyists didn’t exist, we’d have to invent them.” It seems that every major association, corporation, labor union, and public interest group has representation on Capitol Hill. While lobbying is a constitutionally protected right and has existed since the beginning of the republic, it is unlikely that the Founders envisioned K Street in the 21st century. As the federal government has grown more complex, every congressional decision affects some set of interests, so it is not surprising that those interests have developed various techniques to influence Congress’s decision-making.

Specific topics may include:

  • Interest group organization, proliferation, and effectiveness
  • What determines an interest group’s clout
  • How Members and staff interact with lobbyists
  • Differences and similarities between private sector and agency liaison activity
  • Attempts to regulate lobbying activities

Research Seminars meet approximately four times for two hours, over the course of 12 weeks. The first meeting date is published, with the others determined at the first class.

Download the Certificate Program Application (PDF) and review the Application Procedures.


Upcoming Dates:

TBA Spring 2021





Next Course: TBA Spring 2021