How to Win Friends and Influence People: Strategic Contributions of the Indian Lobby


As one of the newest diasporic lobbies in Washington, DC, the US-India Politi- cal Action Committee (USINPAC) has been very successful in promoting stronger bilateral relations between the US and India. In order to achieve its goal, USINPAC has made strategic contributions to members of Congress who serve on committees that directly impact US foreign policy towards India. However, a puzzling disrup- tion in this pattern of strategic contributions is noticeable after 2008. We argue that this shift in contributions towards seemingly non-strategic candidates is indicative of USINPAC’s changing role. USINPAC is moving towards a more identity-based approach wherein it looks to politically represent Indian-Americans. Using a unique donor survey and a nationally representative sample of Indian Americans from the National Asian American Survey, we compare the political values and interests of the USINPAC donor network to those of the broader Indian American community.

In preparation for submission