Ethnic interest groups in the United States after 9/11 : legal and legitimate ?

Abstract

In a country built on the massive arrival of non native peoples for 400 years, ethnicity has become an essential element of the American identity. Unlike most European democracies, the American political system allows for the representation of these ethnic minorities through lobbying, as authorized and facilitated by the Constitution. Lobbying is essentially an American democratic exercise. To be competitive, ethnic groups have no other choice but to master the rules of the democratic game. In the end, the groups that are the most assimilated, thriving, ideologically close to the average Americans are the most likely to be efficient. In spite of frequent critics of interest groups, both the American public and American politicians remain fond of this system, which, for the former, allows them to voice their opinion, and for the latter, is a source of financial contributions and new ideas.

AFRI 2007 Summary

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