Ethnic Minority Interest Group Attributes and U.S. Foreign Policy Influence: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis



To what extent are ethnic identity groups able to influence U.S. foreign policy toward their ancestral homelands? Existing research has resulted in the enumeration of an extensive list of criteria thought to condition ethnic minority influence. In spite of significant progress, however, the literature lacks of systematic test of any of these criteria. The result is a literature that cumulates largely though the addition of new criteria, rather than the reevaluation of existing factors. The current study represents an attempt to develop a test of existing criteria though the application of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). Specifically, the study uses QCA to examine six of the most widely cited criteria found in the literature. Results indicate that, of the six criteria, only organizational strength and level of political activity are necessary conditions for successful influence. No individual factors are sufficient causes of influence.