Interest Groups: Advocacy and Opposition
Put most simply, economic changes and policy interventions generate political responses from those who see either threats to their interests or new opportunities to attain benefits (Acemoglu 2010). Because transportation mega-projects belong to that class of projects inciting intense changes, especially at the metropolitan and regional levels, it should not be surprising that they face various forms of opposition coming from multiple sources, ranging from vocal criticism to organized resistance. But mega-projects likewise benefit from vigorous support. In the USA, lobbying for earmarked projects was a common practice at the national (or federal) level until earmarking was prohibited by Congress in 2011. The proliferation of earmarked projects had persuaded advocacy groups to seek additional projects at the price of foregoing the benefits of more worthy projects. In addition, national advocacy organizations (or lobbyists) continue to try to persuade decision-makers by applying sometimes devious tactics but also their professional expertise.
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