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Interest Groups & Advocacy

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 66–90 | Cite as

It’s all relative: Perceptions of interest group influence

Original Article
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Abstract

Interest group influence has been a concern dating back to our nation’s founding, and scholars have devoted substantial attention to the issue from pluralist, elite and neopluralist perspectives. For this paper, we surveyed lobbyists in five states to examine how they perceive the level of influence of the organizations they represent, as well as that of organizations with similar goals and organizations with opposing goals. We focus on patterns of influence and how interest systems structure perceptions of influence. Consistent with neopluralist expectations, we find that lobbyists’ perceptions of influence are affected by the larger environment in which they operate. We also note that in general, lobbyists seem to overestimate the influence of the specific groups they represent.

Keywords

interest groups lobbying influence power 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank our research assistants Samantha Thompson, Kevin Patel and Meghann Murphy for their assistance in administering the survey used in this study. We would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers, the editor and editorial staff at Interest Groups & Advocacy for their thoughtful comments on our manuscript. Errors and omissions are our own.

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Appalachian State UniversityBooneUSA
  2. 2.University of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

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