Interest Groups & Advocacy

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 270–290 | Cite as

No borders, no bias? Comparing advocacy group populations at the national and transnational levels

  • Joost BerkhoutEmail author
  • Marcel Hanegraaff
Original Article


Why are some advocacy group populations biased towards business interest representatives? In this paper, we assess an underexplored source of variation in advocacy populations, namely the governance level at which advocacy populations are located. More precisely, we analyse whether national advocacy group populations are more likely to contain relatively large proportions of business interest associations compared to transnational advocacy group populations. We examine three competing hypotheses: (1) biases are stronger at the national level than the global level, (2) biases are more pronounced at the global level than the national level and (3) no differences emerge in business mobilization across the national and transnational levels. We test our hypotheses based on a novel dataset of national, European Union (EU) and global advocacy group populations. Our results indicate that the global level is different from the EU and national levels, in that it contains relatively low proportions of business interest representatives.


Advocacy groups Interest groups INGOs Business bias Comparative politics 



Funding was provided by Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (Grant No. 451-12-017).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

41309_2019_60_MOESM1_ESM.docx (54 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 53 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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