Interest group strategies and policy involvement: Does the context matter? Evidence from Southern Europe

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Abstract

This study examines interest groups’ involvement in the policymaking process by asking the following questions: Which political and non-political actors do interest groups target? What are the attitudinal and behavioral components of their strategy? We focus on new Southern European democracies that have been understudied in terms of interest group politics. Based on an original cross-national survey administered in Greece, Portugal and Spain, with responses from approximately 600 interest groups, this study argues that the attitudinal and behavioral dimensions are partially distinct components that need to be distinguished. The findings show that although groups mainly target governmental actors to defend their interests, parties are still considered important intermediaries to influence public policies. Moreover, organizational resources are the most significant explanatory factors that shape the relations between organized interests and policymakers, while cross-country differences do not seem to be of great relevance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109–135
Number of pages24
JournalInterest Groups and Advocacy
Issue number11
Early online date2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Interest groups
  • Involvement
  • Mobilization
  • Policy engagement
  • Southern Europe
  • Survey research

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