Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Chet Rogers

Second Advisor

Dr. Helenan Robin

Third Advisor

Dr. Bill Ritchie

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The impact of special interests on Congress has long been a matter for concern. A content analysis of testimony presented at 14 Congressional committee hearings on the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement revealed that three broad categories of witnesses participated: business, government, and non-business. Total testimony for business and government were comparable, while non-business had fewer witnesses and less testimony. Government supplied more testimony in oral form, which was interpreted as a higher degree of participation than written testimony, predominantly supplied by business. There was little evidence of lobbying coalitions as measured by crossreferencing; witnesses rarely referred to anything but their own concerns. General issues received the most attention; minor issues were usually industry specific. No single category or form of testimony received a significant amount of favorable treatment, although government witnesses agreed with the provisions of the legislation more frequently than business or non-business.