Basic Interests: The Importance of Groups in Politics and in Political Science
A generation ago, scholars saw interest groups as the single most important element in the American political system. Today, political scientists are more likely to see groups as a marginal influence compared to institutions such as Congress, the presidency, and the judiciary. Frank Baumgartner and Beth Leech show that scholars have veered from one extreme to another not because of changes in the political system, but because of changes in political science. They review hundreds of books and articles about interest groups from the 1940s to today; examine the methodological and conceptual problems that have beset the field; and suggest research strategies to return interest-group studies to a position of greater relevance.
Chapter Two Barriers to Accumulation
Chapter Three The Rise and Decline of the Group Approach
Chapter Four Collective Action and the New Literature on Interest Groups
Chapter Five Bias and Diversity in the InterestGroup System
Chapter Six The Dynamics of Bias
Chapter Seven Building a Literature on Lobbying One Case Study at a Time