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Who Works with Whom? Interest Group Alliances and Opposition

  • Robert H. Salisbury (a1), John P. Heinz (a2), Edward O. Laumann (a3) and Robert L. Nelson (a2)

Abstract

Interest-group interactions may be examined in ways comparable to the analysis of conflict and coalition in other areas of political science. We seek to measure and compare the structure of interest-group participation and conflict in four domains of U.S. domestic policy: agriculture, energy, health, and labor. Data are drawn from a survey of 806 representatives of organizations with interests in federal policy, supplemented by interviews with 301 government officials in the same four domains. Several types of data are adduced regarding the intensity and partisanship of group conflict in each domain and the range and variety of group participation. Coalitional patterns are described and the mutual positioning of different kinds of organization—peak-association groups versus more specialized trade, professional, or commodity groups, for example—are examined.

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