This insightful book injects a new sociological understanding of politics and policy. Interest groups help set political agendas, provide support to policymakers, and mobilize resources around issues. Interest groups are also the means by which individuals and organizations achieve advantage over others in social and economic life. The book incorporates theory and research about interest groups into political sociology′s approach to issues of power, inequality, and public policy. As the book convincingly reveals, a sociological understanding of lobbying and interest groups illustrates the edges and boundaries of representative democracy itself.
Using case studies and data, and organized by topics such as influence, collective action, representation, and inequality, the book is a critical resource for students of policymaking and political sociology.
- Introduction: A Social Orientation to Interest Groups and Political Life
- Chapter 1: Interests and Groups
- Chapter 2: Power, Access, and Influence
- Chapter 3: Interest Groups as Intermediaries between Nation–States and Citizens
- Chapter 4: Inequality and Interest Groups
- Chapter 5: Interest Group Politics in a Global Context
- Chapter 6: New Directions in the Study of Lobbyists and Interest Groups