Comparative Research on Interest Group Politics in Europe

Since 2007 a growing group of scholars in the US and Europe has been active in studying various aspects of civil society, lobbying, and interest-group politics in Europe.

Three major initiatives are of note:

Framing Policy Debates in the European Union, National Science Foundation proposal 1102978, submitted October 14, 2010. $386,885 requested for the period of March 1, 2011 to February 28, 2013. Christine Mahoney (University of Virginia), PI; Frank R. Baumgartner, Co-PI.

The ECPR Standing Group on Interest Groups. Click on the link for more information.

Comparative research on interest group politics in Europe (Intereuro): A grant proposal to the European Science Foundation. This award was granted by ESF in Fall 2010 and we are awaiting decisions by the various national science funding agencies before the award is final. Members of the research collaboration are listed below.

Research Collaboration
In contrast to other areas of political science research, there are currently no large cross-national research projects that aim to develop a cumulative body of knowledge of interest groups in a multilevel governance system. Most of what we have are isolated case-studies and some large-N studies that remain restricted to one political system.

The momentum for establishing this collaborative project emanated from a network of scholars developed within the framework of Connex, a research network that was financed by the Sixth Framework Program of the EU (priority 7). Connex has been an especially fruitful vehicle to bring together researchers from Europe and the US in the field of research on civil society and interest-group participation in European governance. This collaboration led to three special issues on interest-group politics in leading journals: the Journal of European Public Policy (Vol. 14(3)), Journal of Public Policy (Vol. 27(1)) and West European Politics (Vol. 31(6)), and to a range of workshops within Europe as well as in the US, intensifying transatlantic cooperation on interest-group research. Thus, the members of the team have been in communication for a number of years, sharing writing and research findings, we now begin to work together on a truly collaborative project which is larger in scale than any research to date. Prof. David Lowery took the lead in submitting a large proposal to the European Science Foundation in 2008 and it was approved for funding by ESF in fall 2010. The ESF and related NSF grant proposals listed above are the products of this growing collaboration.