A Neopluralist Perspective on Research on Organized Interests

David Lowery, Virginia Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


We modestly challenge Baumgartner and Leech's (1998) very pessimistic assessment of the state of interest group research by arguing that there has been a rich collaboration of theory and data during the 1990s, which at least points toward a new and more coherent theoretical perspective on interest representation, and one largely indigenous to political science. With some trepidation given its checkered history, we label this perspective as a neopluralist view. We explore this developing approach in three steps. We first provide a broad outline of three distinct approaches to the study of interest representation, identifying how each has understood the various stages on which organized interests have attracted the attention of scholars. We then identify six attributes of the emerging neopluralist approach that distinguish it from prior work on interest representation. Finally, we consider the appropriateness of our proposed neopluralist label and what must be done to further develop the neopluralist perspective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-175
Number of pages13
JournalPolitical Research Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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