Studies in American Political Development

Organizational Identity as a Constraint on Strategic Action: A Comparative Analysis of Gay and Lesbian Interest Groups

Stephen M. Engel a1
a1 Yale University

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Interest groups can seek legislative action through state and national legislatures, partnerships with presidents, governors, or mayors for direct executive action, litigation in the state and federal courts, or grassroots mobilization on popular referenda and ballot initiatives. These numerous institutional venues foster various advocacy strategies. How and why do interest groups target different venues to achieve their objectives? What factors affect an interest group's capacity to act within, and thus its subsequent targeting of, particular institutional venues to pursue social reform?