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John Scott

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John Scott

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John Scott

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John C. Scott

How do lobbyists influence policy formation? This is a fundamental question in policy studies – and in democratic societies – because it combines issues of power, money and representation, among others. The difficulty for scholars and citizens alike is that the influence of lobbyists and interest groups is difficult to study as well as to theorize about. While we know that lobbying affects policy, lobbying usually has the most effect at the least visible stages of policy development such as the setting of policy agendas. Moreover, the policy environment is a complex mix of groups and other policy actors who often shift among policy venues. The chapter presents mechanisms by which lobbying affects policy formation both through standard theories of interest group influence as well as emerging ideas such as social network processes. These theories are assessed through the empirical approaches to studying lobbying from the micro level to the macro level. It also covers the challenges and opportunities in interest group research.

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John T. Scott

The purpose of this article is to propose a mechanism – the hurdle-lowering auction – for leveraging the public funds invested in public/private partnerships to promote technology. The article addresses financial engineering – the optimal amount and design of public funding of privately performed investments in technology and innovation carried out by public/private partnerships. Public/private partnerships are joint research ventures combining public and private resources to invest in the research and development of technology and innovations. Thus, financial engineering concerns the design of mechanisms for public funding of public/private partnerships that generate the maximum leverage of the public funds on the private investment and performance. By maximum leverage of public funding, is meant maximum effectiveness of the funds in ensuring the use of the least amount of public funds to get the desired results and ensuring the necessary incentives to get those results given the appropriate amount of public funding.

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John T. Scott

This paper provides case studies for 14 research and development projects funded in 13 New England companies by the Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The performance of the six Fast Track projects, each conducted by a different company, is compared with the performance of eight non-Fast Track projects.

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John T. Scott

This paper explains the use of cost-benefit analysis for the evaluation of global public–private partnerships that combine international intergovernmental organizations with national governments, businesses, and the non-profit organizations of civil society. The partnerships allocate resources to projects that are socially desirable from an international perspective, yet without the global partnerships will not be performed. Cost-benefit analysis can identify and compare the social and the private costs and benefits of the projects, thereby identifying cases where global public–private partnerships will provide socially desirable results when markets alone will not. Cost-benefit analysis can assess the necessity and the sufficiency of strategies proposed by the partnerships. The paper discusses modifications to cost-benefit analysis required for its use in evaluations of the global public-private partnerships, explaining the need for market-centered valuations, but also explaining the role of alternative social valuations.

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Ann Nilsen and John Scott

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Edited by John Scott and Ann Nilsen

C. Wright Mills is one of the towering figures in contemporary sociology and his writings continue to be of great relevance to the social science community. Generations of sociology students have enjoyed learning about the discipline from reading his best known book The Sociological Imagination. Over the years the title has become a term in itself with a variety of interpretations, many far removed from the original. The chapters in Part One of this book begins with general issues around the nature and significance of the sociological imagination, continue through discussions of modes of theorising and historical explanation, the relationship between history and biography, and the intellectual and political relationship of Mills to Marxism. They conclude with considerations on issues of class, power, and warfare. Part Two of the book includes a series of reflections from scholars who were invited to give personal thoughts on the impact of Mills’s writings in their sociological work, with particular attention to their own ‘biography and history’.
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John Scott and Federico Lenzerini