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Agendas and Interest Groups


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Professor Amy McKay

Associate Professor of Political Science

Amory a237

Prof. Amy McKay (Ph.D., Duke University, 2006) studies the politics of policymaking with particular focus on the role pressure groups—and their money—play in writing legislation and regulation. She has published numerous articles on lobbying in the US as well as a 2022 Cambridge Press book, Stealth Lobbying: Interest groups and Influence in Health Care Reform. In 2008-9 she served as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow, working for a U.S. senator on health reform legislation (the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare). Previously, she held research and teaching positions at Georgia State University and the University of Iowa.  

Research group links

Research interests

  • Interest groups/pressure groups
  • Lobbying
  • Policymaking
  • Legislatures
  • Bureaucracy and rulemaking
  • Health care policy

Research supervision

I would be pleased to supervise students in the following subjects:

  • interest groups, interest organizations, organized interests, lobby groups, pressure groups
  • lobbying
  • business and politics
  • money in politics
  • campaign contributions
  • policymaking




Prof. McKay specialises in the influence of organized interests—and their money—over state government decisionmaking. Her research shows that in general, interest groups do not exert undue influence over policy decisions made by governments, but occasionally, interest groups do successfully use money to tip policy decisions in their favour.  Her research appears in Political Research Quarterly, Public Choice, and American Politics Research, among other outlets.  She is now writing a book on the influence of interest groups on the health reform bill in the US better known as Obamacare.  She attended Duke University and Rice University and has also worked for US Senator Kent Conrad and Vice President Al Gore.

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