Resources of Ethic Lobbying in US Foreign Policy: Theoretical Aspects

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-3-76-83
I. Loshkarev (,
(MGIMO(University), 76, Prosp. Vernadskogo, Moscow 119454, Russian Federation 


Abstract. The article deals with the phenomenon of ethnic lobbying in the U.S. foreign policy. The targeted influence on the U.S. foreign policy presents the example of interplay between different levels in world political processes. It needs to be theoretically explained from the world politics standpoint. An interactionist approach seems to be the most effective to achieve this goal. It allows assessing world-scale political consequences of decisions made at intra-state level, namely in the USA. This also provides us with an analytical framework that has a potential for bridging the gap between neoclassical realism and neoliberal approaches to the international relations theory. However, the theoretical investigation requires paying attention to a national rather than international level of analysis. The author argues that lobbying should be explained as a wide-range set of practices in foreign policy decision-promoting advocacy which are partially regulated with legal instruments. Therefore, the institutionalist agenda is applicable for lobbyism studying in general. This approach leads to a number of difficulties in consideration of the phenomenon, blurs key concepts, such as advocacy. In addition, admitting the existence of a shadow area in foreign policy lobbying limits the researchers’ ability to assess the extent of lobbying influence by particular organizations. Finally, the institutional approach presupposes the author’s attention to lobbies themselves, to their role in formation of political actors’ interests. Based on this conclusion, the article covers some mechanisms and resources of ethnic lobbies, assesses their impact in the particular area of the state policy. Lobbying in foreign policy is defined in terms of cutting-off the alternatives unfavorable to certain political actors. Implementation of these actions forces ethnic lobbies to join broad coalitions which are not only increasing their opportunities, but are also imposing certain restrictions. In this context, it seems significant to conceptualize resources of ethnic lobbies, since researchers are often perceive an ability to influence events and the influence itself as synonymous phenomena. Taken as a whole, the issue of influence resources is difficult to ignore in the international relations theory research. 

Keywords: ethnic lobbying, foreign policy, resource of ethnic lobbies, lobbyists’ coalitions 


1. Dumbrell J., Barrett D. M. The Making of US Foreign Policy. 2nd edition. Manchester, New York, Manchester University Press, 1997. 226 p.

2. Sikkink K. Patterns of Dynamic Multilevel Governance and the Insider-Outsider Coalitions. Transnational Protest and Global Activism. della Porta D., Tarrow S., eds. New York, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2005, pp. 151-173.

3. Temby O. What Are Levels of Analysis and What Do They Contribute to International Relations Theory? Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 2013, vol. 26, no. 4, . 721-742. DOI:10.1080/09557571.2013.831032

4. Lebedeva M. M. Predmetnoe pole i predmetnye polya mirovoi politiki [Subject Field and Subject Fields of World Politics]. International Trends, 2004, vol. 2, no. 5, pp. 97-108.

5. Krasner S. Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy. Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1999. 280 p.

6. Huntington S. P. The Erosion of American National Interests. Foreign Affairs, 1997, no. 76, pp. 28-49.

7. Shain Y. Ethnic Diasporas and US Foreign Policy. Political Science Quarterly, 1995, no. 109, pp. 811-841. DOI:10.2307/2152533

8. Smith . Foreign Attachments: The Power of Ethnic Groups in the Making of American Foreign Policy. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 2000. 208 p.

9. Olson M. Logika kollektivnykh deistvii. Obshchestvennye blaga i teoriya grupp [The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups]. Trans. from Engl. Moscow, FEI, 1995. 174 p.

10. Bernhagen P. When Do Politicians Listen to Lobbyists (and Who Benefits When They Do)? European Journal of Political Research, 2013, no. 52, pp. 20-43. DOI:10.1111/j.1475-6765.2012.02062.x

11. Kersh R. State Autonomy & Civil Society: The Lobbyist Connection. Critical Review. A Journal of Politics and Society, 2000, vol. 14, no. 2-3, pp. 237-258. DOI:10.1080/08913810008443559

12. Pavroz A. V. Gruppy interesov v sisteme politicheskogo predstavitel’stva: sovremennye tendentsii [Interest Groups in Political Representation System: Current Trends]. POLITEKS, 2013, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 263-271.

13. Zyablyuk N. G. Politicheskii plyuralizm: kontury amerikanskoi modeli [Political Pluralism: Outline of American Model]. USA–Canada: Economics, Politics, Culture, 1999, no. 5, pp. 3-18.

14. Harris P., McGrath C. Political Marketing and Lobbying: A Neglected Perspective and Research Agenda. Journal of Political Marketing, 2012, vol. 11, no. 1-2, pp. 75-94. DOI:10.1080/15377857.2012.642745

15. Avtonomov A. S. Azbuka lobbirovaniya [The Alphabet of Lobbying]. Moscow, IRIS, 2004. 112 p.

16. Tolstykh P. A. Teoriya grupp i teoriya lobbizma: sootnoshenie nauchnykh kontseptsii (hast’ II) [Group Theory and Lobbying Theory: Interrelation of Scientific Concepts (Part 2)]. Istoricheskie, filosofskie, politicheskie i yuridicheskie nauki, kul’turologiya i iskusstvovedenie. Voprosy teorii i praktiki, 2013, no. 2 (28), part. II, pp. 191-206.

17. Baikov A.A., Sushentsov A. A. Stranovye osobennosti lobbizma v SShA i v Yaponii [Country’s Profile of Lobbying: the USA and Japan]. International Trends, 2010, vol. 8, no. 2 (23), pp. 100-111.

18. Konyshev V.N., Sergunin A.A. O ponyatiinom apparate v issledovaniyakh fenomena lobbizma [Terms in Studying Lobbyism Phenomenon]. Vestnik Baltiiskogo federal’nogo universiteta im. I. Kanta, 2011, no. 6, pp. 100-107.

19. The Center for Responsive Politics (2015). Annual Lobbying on Foreign Policy. Available at: (accessed 20.08. 2015).

20. The Center for Responsive Politics (2015). Annual Lobbying on Beer, Wine & Liquor. Available at: (accessed 20.08.2015).

21. The Center for Responsive Politics (2015). Annual Lobbying on Building Materials & Equipment (The Center for Responsive Politics). Available at: (accessed 20.08. 2015).

22. Davidson L. Foreign Policy, Inc.: Privatizing America’s National Interest. Lexington, University Press of Kentucky, 2008. 184 .

23. Mistry D. The India Lobby and the Nuclear Agreement with India. Political Science Quarterly, 2013, vol. 128, no. 4, .717-746. DOI:10.1002/polq.12142

24. Mearsheimer J.J., Walt S. M. The Israel Lobby and U. S. Foreign Policy. New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007. 484 p.

25. Haglund D.G., McNeil-Hay T. The ‘Germany Lobby’ and US Foreign Policy: What, if Anything, Does It Tell Us about the Debate over the ‘Israel Lobby’? Ethnopolitics: Formerly Global Review of Ethnopolitics, 2011, vol. 10, no. 3-4, pp. 321-344. DOI:10.1080/17449057.2010.543803

26. Peregudov S.P., Utkin A.I., Kostyaev S. S. Lobbizm rossiiskogo biznesa v SShA i ES: evolyutsiya i perspektivy [Russian Business Lobbying in the USA and the EU: Evolution and Prospects]. Moscow, ISKRAN, 2009. 66 p.

27. Goldstein K. M. Interest Groups, Lobbying, and Participation in America. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1999. 158 p.

28. McCormick J. M. Ethnic Interest Group in American Foreign Policy. The Domestic Sources of American Foreign Policy: Insights and Evidence. McCormick J.M., ed. New York, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, INC, 2012, pp. 67-87.

29. Lozanskii . D. Etnosy i lobbizm v SShA. O perspektivakh rossiiskogo lobbi v Amerike [Ethnicities and Lobbying in the USA. The Prospect for the Russian Lobby]. Moscow, Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2004. 272 p.

30. Federal Advisory Committee Act Database (2016). List of Members by 2015. Available at: (accessed 28.04.2016). 

Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Loshkarev I. Resources of Ethic Lobbying in US Foreign Policy: Theoretical Aspects. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2017, vol. 61, no. 3, pp. 76-83.

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment






Dear authors! Please note that in the VAK List of peer-reviewed scientific journals, in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate and doctor of sciences should be published for the “MEMO Journal” the following specialties are recorded:
economic sciences:
5.2.5. World Economy.
5.2.1. Economic Theory
5.2.3. Regional and Branch Economics
political sciences:
5.5.4. International Relations
5.5.1. History and Theory of Politics
5.5.2. Political Institutions, Processes, Technologies


Current Issue
2024, vol. 68, No. 7
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • The Supporting Structure of Global Security
  • Institutional Features of the Fourth Energy Transition
  • The Evolution of Modern German Christian Democracy
  • The Monarchies of the Persian Gulf and Central Asia
Submit an Article
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.