Honors Program Theses


Honors Program Thesis (UNI Access Only)

First Advisor

Kenneth Basom, Honors Thesis Advisor


Human rights--United States; Lobbying--United States; Foreign agents--United States;


Starting in the late 1980’s the issue of human rights abusing regimes lobbying the United States’ government began to be taken more seriously by human rights advocates. Their concern was that the American political system had begun to shift in a direction in which lobbyists could have a major impact on public policy. They worried that, through lobbying efforts, human rights abusing regimes would be to influence U.S. governmental policy directed toward themselves, with the result that these regimes could continue practicing human rights abuses without objection and even, at times, with support of the U.S. government.

This type of foreign lobbying has received little scholarship compared to domestic lobbying. This is of concern because studies show that domestic lobbying can be very influential in the U.S. The winner-take-all political system in the U.S. tends to create an environment in which issues tend to be won or lost outright, which favors the most powerful. “The U.S. fails to reach consensus 75 percent of the time,” within its political system, which creates clear winners and losers, “and on average those winners are industry.” 1 A significant factor in this is that these wealthy corporations are able to afford high priced but influential lobbyists. “Groups that are well endowed are able to put more resources into each issue, engage in more tactics, and devote more man power to the topic; considering this, they should be more likely to succeed in their lobbying activities.” 2 The success of lobbying for industry brings up the serious issue of whether foreign states utilize these same lobby groups to influence policy and if that affects human rights. Through a historical analysis this thesis will answer that question.

Year of Submission



Department of Political Science

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (42 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download