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The Hollow Core

The Hollow Core

Private Interests in National Policy Making

John P. Heinz, Edward O. Laumann, Robert L. Nelson, Robert H. Salisbury

ISBN 9780674405264

Publication date: 09/15/1997

Critics of the policy-making process argue that private interest groups exert too much influence on the decisions of government, but only rarely has this proposition been examined systematically. The Hollow Core draws on interviews with more than 300 interest groups, 800 lobbyists, and 300 government officials to assess the efforts of private organizations to influence federal policy in four areas—agriculture, energy, health, and labor policy.


  • The Hollow Core is by far the most comprehensive survey yet of the Washington lobbyists’ life and work… A much more complete and credible analysis about the way modern Washington works emerges than in so many previous accounts.

    —Tim Hames, Financial Times


  • John P. Heinz is Distinguished Research Fellow, American Bar Foundation, and Owen L. Coon Professor of Law, Northwestern University.
  • Edward O. Laumann is George Herbert Mead Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology, and Provost, University of Chicago.
  • Robert L. Nelson is Research Fellow, American Bar Foundation, and Associate Professor of Sociology, Northwestern University.
  • Robert H. Salisbury is Sidney Souers Professor of American Government, Washington University in St. Louis.

Book Details

  • 448 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press