Policy Sciences

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 55–69 | Cite as

Interest groups in multiple streams: specifying their involvement in the framework

  • Patrycja RozbickaEmail author
  • Florian Spohr
Research Article


Although interests inhabit a central place in the multiple streams framework (MSF), interest groups have played only a minor role in theoretical and empirical studies until now. In Kingdon’s original conception, organized interests are a key variable in the politics stream. Revisiting Kingdon’s concept with a particular focus on interest groups and their activities—in different streams and at various levels—in the policy process, we take this argument further. In particular, we argue that specifying groups’ roles in other streams adds value to the explanatory power of the framework. To do this, we look at how interest groups affect problems, policies, and politics. The influence of interest groups within the streams is explained by linking the MSF with literature on interest intermediation. We show that depending on the number of conditions and their activity level, interest groups can be involved in all three streams. We illustrate this in case studies reviewing labor market policies in Germany and chemicals regulation at the European level.


Chemicals regulation European Union Germany Interest groups Labor market Multiple streams 



We wish to thank Nikolaos Zahariadis and the participants of the “Ambiguity and Public Policy” Workshop, at the Department of Government, College of Arts & Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL, USA, November 14–15, 2014. We are also thankful to Tom Birkland, Laura Carsten-Mahrenbach, Hanno Hahn, and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Languages and Social SciencesAston UniversityAston Triangle, BirminghamEngland, UK
  2. 2.Faculty of Social SciencesRuhr University BochumBochumGermany

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