Greasing the Wheels

Using Pork Barrel Projects to Build Majority Coalitions in Congress

by Diana Evans

Pork barrel projects would surely rank near the top of most observers' lists of Congress's most widely despised products. Yet, political leaders in Congress and the President often trade pork for votes to pass legislation that serves broad national purposes, giving members of Congress pork barrel projects in return for their votes on general interest legislation. It is a practice that succeeds at a cost, but it is a cost that many political leaders are willing to pay in order to enact the broader public policies that they favor. There is an irony in this: pork barrel benefits, the most reviled of Congress's legislative products, are used by policy coalition leaders to produce the type of policy that is most admired - general interest legislation. This book makes the case that buying votes with pork is one way in which Congress solves its well-known collective action problem.

  • Cambridge University Press; June 2004
  • ISBN: 9780511208331
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: Greasing the Wheels
  • Author: Diana Evans
  • Imprint: Cambridge University Press

In The Press

"...notably well written and clearheaded...Highly recommended." N.W. Polsby, University of California, Berkeley