Interest Groups and the United Nations (UN)

  • Lisa Maria DellmuthEmail author
Living reference work entry


Some of the most exciting controversies about transnational interest group politics revolve around the United Nations (UN), a major incubator of ideas and a hub in global governance. This article foregrounds interest groups in the UN as private voluntary organizations pursuing political advocacy. Anchored in political science, this definition views interest groups as a subset of “transnational actors,” which are typically more broadly referred to as any type of individual or collective “non-state actor” that is transnationally active and neither a state nor composed of states. Interestingly, a growing number of comparative politics and international relations scholars have highlighted the overlap between “interest groups” and “international non-governmental organizations (INGOs),” as both types of organizations typically seek to balance self-interested advocacy and normative aims. Drawing from both interest group and INGO research, this article discusses three core topics:...


Advocacy groups Civil society organizations Global governance Interest groups International non-governmental organizations Multistakeholder arrangements Non-state actors Partnerships Stakeholders Transnational actors United Nations 
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Further Reading

  1. Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA): NGO Branch.
  2. UN and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs): A Quick Guide.

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economic History and International RelationsStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden