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Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Program

Sociology

Date of Award

5-2012

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Paul Kamolnick

Committee Members

Joseph O. Baker, Hyung Sam Park

Abstract

This thesis examines two organizational strategies employed for influencing American environmental policy with considerations to the "power elite" and "pluralist" models of policy control. Using a data set comprised of 379 organizations derived from US congressional hearings on climate change policy between 1976 and 2006, I find that industrial corporations conceal the public footprint of their involvement by financially encouraging "independent" research centers to provide favorable testimony. Meanwhile, nonprofit organizations are more likely to be co-represented by shared experts, a resource that is strategically shared for political gain. These findings provide some circumscribed support for both the power elite and pluralist models of organizational influence: the organization of power elites has a disproportionate amount of resources in a system that provides an arena for competing values and goals. Implications for understanding the organizational strategies towards congressional testimony as well as directions for future research are discussed based on these findings.

Document Type

Thesis - Campus Only

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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