Article

Organized Interests: Evolution and Influence

Peter L. Francia

in The Oxford Handbook of American Elections and Political Behavior

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199235476
Published online May 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199235476.003.0032

Series: Oxford Handbooks of American Politics

Organized Interests: Evolution and Influence

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This article shows that interest groups make use of different strategies and have had to adapt to evolving legal and political environments. First, it provides an overview of what interest groups want and the activities that interest groups have pursued historically to achieve their goals. Next, it explores the effect of organized interests in American elections, with a specific focus on the effects of financial contributions, voter mobilization efforts, and efforts to set the campaign agenda. Furthermore, the article presents a discussion on the state of the academic research on interest groups, and offers some suggestions for researchers to pursue in the future. It is shown that laws that regulate interest group activities are not a trivial matter. In particular, campaign finance laws have played a significant role in affecting the strategies, tactics, and the influence of interest groups in American politics.

Keywords: interest groups; organized interests; American elections; financial contributions; voter mobilization; campaign agenda; laws

Article.  7245 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Political Behaviour

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