Kirsten Carlson on Lobbying Congress for Federal Recognition of Indian Tribes

Kirsten Matoy Carlson has posted “Why Lobby Congress? Constitutive and Instrumental Influences on Indian Groups’ Strategies for Federal Recognition, 1977-2012” on SSRN. This paper is highly recommended.

Here is the abstract:

When and why do marginalized groups chose a particular institutional venue when pursuing their legal claims? This article combines theoretical and methodological insights from sociolegal and interest group studies to investigate why non-federally recognized Indian groups used legislative strategies for federal recognition from 1977 to 2012. It finds Indian groups employed legislative strategies both to increase their chances of success and for constitutive purposes, including educating the public and leveraging institutional tensions. The article’s emphasis on constitutive and instrumental motivations provides a more nuanced approach to understanding marginalized groups’ venue decisions.

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