Posts on The Monkey Cage

Artists of the Possible Now Shipping

My next book, Artists of the Possible: Governing Networks and American Policy Change Since 1945 is now shipping on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The book can also be ordered directly from Oxford University Press. The book is part of the Studies in Postwar American Political Development series. Here is the table of contents and the blurbs:



Chapter 1: The Insularity of American Policymaking

Chapter 2: Aggregating Policy History

Chapter 3: Does the Issue Agenda Matter?

Chapter 4: The Long Great Society

Chapter 5: Issue Politics and the Policy Process

Chapter 6: Explaining Policy Change


"This book is a significant contribution to policy studies.  It is rooted in vast, meticulous research, and its ‘governing networks’ motif works out nicely.  It throws an original light on the American policy explosion of the 1960s and 1970s." - David Mayhew, Sterling Professor of Political Science, Yale University

"Why does government do what it does? If Matt Grossmann is right, voters, elections, polls, and the media, matter less than you think, and elite networks matter more. This data-driven book maps—quite literally—the internal dynamics that govern the networks that govern the rest of us. Its arguments will intrigue and often provoke conservatives and liberals alike." - Jonathan Rauch, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

hss“Artists of the Possible is certain to attract scholarly attention, spark debate, and spur new theorizing and research on American policymaking. Grossmann builds a new data set from hundreds of policy histories to challenge major approaches to understanding policy change and to formulate an alternative argument, one that raises fascinating and troubling questions about democratic government.”—Thomas Mann, co-author of It’s Even Worse Than It Looks

I have joined Twitter

You can now follow me: @MattGrossmann

"American Public Policymaking" Book Now Under Contract

I have signed an advance contract to produce American Public Policymaking: Issues in Governance for use in public policy courses. Routledge will publish the book in 2016 or 2017. The book begins with up-to-date synopses of American institutions, the policy process, and standards of good governance and then considers eleven important national issue areas. Each issue area chapter features a specific application of policy theory, a study of a controversial hot topic, a systematic comparison with other issue areas, and an overview of important actors, controversies, and institutions. I highlight both comparable cross-issue data and issue-specific research on the policy process and the determinants of policy change. If you have any ideas during the book’s development, please share them.

New Directions in Interest Group Politics

My edited volume is now published and available for order. If you teach an interest groups class, feel free to email me to request an examination copy. Thanks to all who participated. Here is the table of contents, cover, and blurbs:

Preface.  1: Group Mobilization from the Economy, Society, and Government; Matt Grossmann  2. How Membership Associations Change the Balance of Representation in Washington (And How They Don’t); Kay Lehman Schlozman and Philip Edward Jones   3. Grassroots Mobilization and Outside Lobbying; Edward Walker   4. The Paradoxes of Inequality and Interest Group Representation; Dara Z. Strolovitch   5. Political Parties and Ideology: Interest Groups in Context;Hans Noel   6. Why Lobbyists for Competing Interests Often Cooperate; Thomas T. Holyoke   7. How Will the Internet Change American Interest Groups?; David Karpf   8. Attack of the Super PACs? Interest Groups in the 2012 Elections; Michael Franz   9. When Does Money Buy Votes? Campaign Contributions and Policymaking; Christopher Witko   10. Understanding the Influence of Lobbying in the U.S. Congress: Preferences, Networks, Money, and Bills; Holly Brasher and Jason Britt   11. Interest Groups, the White House, and the Administration; Heath Brown   12. Interest Groups in the Judicial Arena; Paul M. Collins, Jr.   13. Evaluating Reforms of Lobbying and Money in Politics; Lee Drutman   14. Conclusion; Matt Grossmann


"The strong and consistent focus of the essays in New Directions in Interest Group Politics on core theoretical questions—and their willingness to bring data to bear on those questions—will almost certainly enliven and deepen classroom discussions about the politics of interest representation.”

—David Lowery, Pennsylvania State University

"This book provides wide ranging perspectives on interest groups that are grounded in the contributors’ own research. I wish more textbooks did this so well."

—Beth Leech, Rutgers University

"This book enlarges our understanding of the American policymaking process by illuminating how organized interests advance their agendas in an age of hyper-partisanship, rising economic inequality, and instant communication. Together the chapters represent an important contribution to the study of American pluralism."

—Kristin A. Goss, Duke University

New Directions in Interest Group Politics provides readers with an impressive range of cutting-edge research from top scholars on the most relevant topics on interest group politics. Each chapter covers foundational literature and exciting new work in a way that is, at once, both accessible and thought-provoking.”

—Daniel C. Lewis, University of New Orleans

The book is available on Amazon. Instructors, email me for a review copy.

American Interest Group Politics Book Series

I will be serving as Series Editor for a new book series from Praeger Publishers called “American Interest Group Politics.” I would like to begin with books covering the organization and influence of the National Rifle Association, the AARP, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. If you have a proposal or idea that might be relevant, please send it to me.

Visit to DC

I will be visiting Washington, DC for a meeting of the inaugural Academic Fellows program at the Sunlight Foundation on Thursday (10/10) and Friday (10/11). I will present research on lobbying and policymaking and help brainstorm about the uses of Sunlight’s data tools for research and public understanding. 

New Reviews of The Not-So-Special Interests

Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution reviews my book, The Not-So-Special Interests: Interest Groups, Public Representation, and American Governance, in the new issue of Perspectives on Politics. Mann says: “Matt Grossmann is ambitious in his goal of revitalizing group theories of democratic politics…, meticulous in his collection and analysis of original data; unabashed in challenging the validity and utility of popular… approaches to the study of interest groups; and skeptical of much conventional wisdom about the role and power of lobbyists and “special interests” in American governance.”

Heath Brown of Seton Hall University reviews my book in the Journal of Politics. Brown says: “Matt Grossman’s excellent new book accomplishes a lot in under 200 pages: he challenges conventions, builds new theories (two, not just one!), and presents new data for scholars to puzzle over… Grossmann’s work is a must read for a variety of political science subfields and for scholars in other disciplines who are seeking a robust new set of theories matched with cleverly analyzed original data.”

Campaigns & Elections

Our new “2012 Election Update” edition of Campaigns & Elections: Rules, Reality, Strategy, Choice is now available.

Sunlight Foundation Academic Fellow

I will be serving as an inaugural non-resident Academic Fellow with the Sunlight Foundation this year, sharing research and helping to build “big data” infrastructure on policymaking and interest group influence. The Sunlight Foundation offers excellent open-access tools for searching and analyzing data on campaign finance and lobbying, agency rulemaking, and Congress