Interesting reading

Books

Here is a selection of books that may be of interest to anyone working in private sector advocacy

Lobbying and policy change: who wins, who loses and why, Frank Baumtgartner et al

This book, published in 2009, summarises the results of a seven year research project involving five authors and 50 student collaborators. They looked in detail, over a four year period, at the key issues pursued by all the lobbyists in Washington. The result is considerable insighht into the entire lobbying process - at least in the US and in so far as it applies to lobbying Congress. There are some gaps therefore but it is essential reading for anyone interested in advocacy and lobbying.

Basic Interests: the importance of groups in politics and political science, Frank Baumgartner & Beth Leech

This book was written in 1998, so is a little out of date, but is an excellent review of the literature relating to the way that interest groups (primarily business but not exclusively) seek to influence public policy in the US. For anyone doing a literature review, it provides an exemplar. For anyone interested in public private dialogue and private sector advocacy, it is an interesting read, though the fact that it only looks at public policy influencing in the US makes it hard to draw more general conclusions

Brussels versus the Beltway, Christine Mahoney

A slightly quirky title, implying some competition between Brussels and Washington, for a book that gives an excellent overview of the differences in lobbying between The US an dthe EU. Some of what Mahoney has to say is fairly obvious, but if you are in any way involved in private sector advocacy then this book is worth reading

Wars, guns & votes: democracy in dangerous places, Paul Collier

An excellent book which explores how democracy takes roots in sub Saharan Africa, why heads of state resprt to war and ideas to discourage them

Our turn to eat, Michaela Wrong

A brilliant book about John Githongo and his efforts to combat corruption in Kenya - which ultimately provided an impossible task, with John running to London

The bottom billion, Paul Collier

Why so many people in the world are starving and suggestions for how to make a difference

The Secret Language of Leadership, Stephen Denning

This book explains how to use narrative to make a compelling case for change