The Comparative Advantage of State Interest Organization Research

David Lowery and Virginia Gray

in The Oxford Handbook of American Political Parties and Interest Groups

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199542628
Published online May 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of American Politics

 The Comparative Advantage of State Interest Organization Research

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This article provides a contrast between the ‘explosion of large-n studies’ and the more modest progress in theory building and hypothesis testing in research on state-level interest groups. It explores the recent dialogue between theory and empirical analysis on the politics of interest representation. It also argues that examination of the states offers critical advantages over studying the interest system of the US or other national governments. The comparative advantages of the states are reported in some detail. Moreover, the article examines several leading research themes uniquely originating in contemporary state politics research and how these have influenced or should influence interest group scholarship more generally. It is clear that the state literature is no longer so isolated from the more general research program on interest organizations.

Keywords: state-level interest groups; interest representation; US government; contemporary state politics; interest group scholarship; interest organizations

Article.  7490 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Political Behaviour

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