2013 | 4 | 9 | 43-74
Article title

What Makes Ethnic Groups in the United States Politically Effective

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This article concerns the potential influence of ethnic interest groups on U.S. foreign policy. Are they successful? It is rather difficult to answer this question. This article concentrates, though, on something else. By looking at the examples of some ethnic groups, and their activity it points to the circumstances that can potentially enhance their influence. It identifies and analyzes the groups' and their members' characteristics as well as the political environment they are lobbying in. Factors such as the identity of the members of the diaspora, the character of their relations with the country of origin, the degree of assimilation, their socio-economic status seem to be a matter of considerable significance. As far as the size of an ethnic population is concerned, it is more complicated. It is not the mere size of a particular ethnic population that counts but the number of people who really care. The article also analyses the external determinants that are in a groups' favor. The mobilization of potential activists is more probable when the interests of the country of origin are under threat, and when there is a clearly identifiable enemy. The potential for success increases when it is possible for the an ethnic interest group to build a coalition with other lobbies and when the goals that it tries to achieve are not in conflict with the interests of the United States, as it is perceived by decision makers.
Physical description
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