Interest Group Access
Access to key decision-makers is central for any actor trying to influence politics. Without access, it is difficult for organized groups to advance their viewpoints and influence political decisions. While the study of influence is notoriously difficult due to its conceptual and methodological challenges, the study of access is a more accessible research field. Studying interest group access is thus essentially important as well as empirically feasible for evaluating the political role of interest groups.
Although scholars have defined access in slightly different ways, a definition emphasizing the role of gatekeepers is commonly accepted. Access can thus be defined as instances where an interest group (or another political actor) has successfully entered a political arena such as parliament, the administration, or the news media passing a threshold controlled by a relevant gatekeeper, e.g., politicians or civil servants (Binderkrantz & Pedersen 2017: 310).
KeywordsAccess Influence Interest groups Representation Democracy
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