Several Publications from Trey Thomas

Trey Thomas has several coauthored publications forthcoming (find two abstracts below the listings):

Halpin, Darren R. and H.F. Thomas III. Forthcoming. “Evaluating the Breadth of Policy Engagement by Organized Interests. Public Administration.

Halpin, Darren R. and H.F. Thomas III. Forthcoming. “Interest Group Survival: Sources of Mortality Anxiety.” Interest Groups & Advocacy.

Maitland, Carleen, H.F. Thomas III, and Louis-Marie Ngamassi Tchouakeu. Forthcoming. “Internet Censorship Circumvention Technology Use in Human Rights Organizations: An Exploratory Analysis.” Journal of Information Technology.

Jones, Bryan D. and H.F. Thomas III. Forthcoming. “Bounded Rationality and Public Policy Decision-making.” Arral et al., Eds. Routledge Handbook of Public Policy. New York: Routledge.

Evaluating the Breadth of Policy Engagement by Organized Interests:

This article probes the variation in the breadth of policy engagement among organized interests. The literature, heavily shaped by large-n US studies of Washington and its lobbying system, suggests many reasons for organized interests to focus policy engagement relatively narrowly. This claim of policy specialization has been long repeated in the British public policy literature. The aim of this article is to empirically test the extent to which expectations of narrowed engagement hold in a UK context. This article uses a new Scottish dataset that tracks actual engagement by any organized interest on executive policy consultations over a 25-year period. It tracks over 90,000 ‘mobilization events’ by over 18,000 organizations in 1,690 distinct consultation issues across the entire Scottish policy system. In analyzing these data, we concern ourselves with establishing: (1) the extent of generalized engagement; (2) the type of organized interests that are more or less general in their engagement; and (3) the extent to which a specialized style of policy engagement is on the increase over time. In the process, we develop measures that are appropriate for assessing breadth of engagement using issue-based policy data.

Interest Group Survival: Sources of Mortality Anxiety:

In order to engage in public policy, interest groups need to survive and thrive as organizations. What factors shape perceptions of group entrepreneurs as to the future prospects for their groups’ survival? The careful and ambitious work of Gray and Lowery (and others working in the population ecology paradigm) has drawn attention to that fact that not all groups that are born survive. This observation raises the question: what leads groups to ‘feel’ anxiety about their organizational mortality? In their 1997 article, utilizing survey data on the organizational characteristics and situational dynamics of a sample of groups lobbying in several US states, Gray and Lowery asked just that question: what are the levels of ‘mortality anxiety’ among groups still alive? In this article we revisit this question using similar data, but with some additional variables, and for a non US case (namely post-devolution Scottish public policy). In sorting out what factors are associated with anxiety, our analysis seeks to weigh up the existing ecological emphasis on broad shifts in population level forces (i.e competition) with group level variables reflecting adaptive changes (i.e. identity, uniqueness, changes).