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Beyond the usual suspects: interest groups in the Global South

Authors
  • Rozbicka, Patrycja
  • Mahrenbach, Laura C.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Interest Groups & Advocacy
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Publication Date
Mar 23, 2023
Volume
12
Issue
2
Pages
115–131
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1057/s41309-023-00187-2
PMCID: PMC10034869
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Original Article
License
Unknown

Abstract

Understanding interest group systems is crucial to understanding the functioning of advanced democracies, but less is known about its relevance in developing and nascent democracies. While advocacy studies in the Global North have exploded since the late 1990s, exploration of organized interest activities in the Global South remains a niche topic, impeding comparative analysis. In this introductory essay—and in this special issue—we make a case for why investigating lobbying in the Global South can improve theoretical and empirical understandings of advocacy processes and make our work more relevant for contemporary policy questions. We also provide tips for how to best engage with the unique challenges of lobbying in Southern policymaking settings and processes. Drawing on the findings from the special issue, the essay concludes by presenting a contemporary research agenda for interest group scholars which identifies where synergies already exist and where South–South and North–South comparative case studies can be built. In so doing, we promote a mutually beneficial dialogue which tables existing research contributions and gaps in each region as opportunities for communal discussion and learning.

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