Irma Rangel Public Policy Institute

Clare Brock

MA, University of Texas

Clare Brock



American Politics, Public Policy, Food and Agricultural Policy, Lobbying, Agenda Setting, Content Analysis, American Political Development


Clare Brock studies American politics and public policy, focusing on agricultural policy and lobbying behavior. She completed her undergraduate work at Southwestern University, earning a B.A. in Political Science and Communications. She also holds a M.A. in American politics from the University of Texas. She is currently a graduate research assistant at the Irma Rangel Public Policy Institute, and is writing a dissertation titled, "What's Cooking in Washington? Interest Group Lobbying and the Construction of Food and Agricultural Policy." 

Clare's dissertation examines the strategies lobbyists use to influence public policy in the agriculture and food policy arena. Previous studies of lobbying have produced conflicting evidence for the impact of lobbying on the content of federal laws and regulations, despite the fact that, in the domain of agriculture alone, firms spent over $31,600,000 to lobby the federal government in 2015. Such an investment demonstrates that firms are confident that their lobbying strategies produce tangible legal benefits for the companies and industry they represent. 

​She argues that a firm’s material resources, social connections, and prior experience lobbying in Washington determine the strategies they use to achieve their policy goals. Using an original dataset, based on hand-coded lobbying disclosure reports, and interviews with policy experts and lobbyists, she finds clear and compelling evidence that lobbyists strategically direct their lobbying efforts to different government venues, depending on the nature of their relationship with members of Congress and members of the bureaucracy. Furthermore, firms with the greatest material resources are not only more likely to lobby, but they are also more effective in their use of these resources to leverage their relationships with members of Congress for more efficient lobbying efforts. This dissertation is the first work of its kind to uncover the latent reasons driving lobbyists to utilize distinct strategies from one another in a policy arena crucial to American public health, environmental conservation, and national security. 

Clare has served as a research assistant at the Irma Rangel Public Policy Institute, as an Assistant Instructor in Introduction to American Politics, and as a teaching assistant for courses on Food Politics in America and Public Policy. 


GOV 310L • American Government

38334 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM MEZ B0.306

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

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