Politics Is Not Basketball: Numbers Are Not Results

  • Grant Jordan
  • Darren Halpin
Part of the Interest Groups, Advocacy and Democracy Series book series (IGAD)


The original intention underpinning this book was to address both the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of researching numbers and groups: to set out conclusions from recent research but, just as importantly, to provide something of a manual anticipating practical issues that will need to be faced in future research. In scholarly enterprises, one can easily start off with hopes of seamless synthesis, but this volume is as much about celebrating diversity as looking for coherence. So great is the diversity captured that in reflecting on the messages of the contributions, one cannot escape asking whether there is a common scholarly enterprise stretching from Mohan’s search for community activity ‘below the radar’ in England to Schlozman’s tracking of organizational activity in Washington. However, on balance, the conclusions are positive. While the volume of course leaves us short of a full understanding of the pattern of groups, organized interests, and associations in different countries over time, we can now much more clearly see the issues that set that up as an unrealistic aim. The chapters focus on activity at different levels – supranational, national, subnational, and local. They span different institutional arenas – legislative, media, administrative, and legal. And they focus on counting efforts guided by different (defensibly so) approaches. A single overarching research approach is unlikely to meaningfully capture this scope.


Interest Group Collective Action Business Group Group Number Organize Interest 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Grant Jordan and Darren Halpin 2012

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  • Grant Jordan
  • Darren Halpin

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