Can the US be viewed as an oligarchy?

Interest Groups in the USA: Political Influence Between Pluralism and Lobbyism

Handbook of Politics USA pp 1-16 | Cite as

  • Martin Thunert
Living reference work entry
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The American interest group landscape is characterized by its enormous diversity. The article takes a theory-led empirical look at the landscape of organized interest representation and think tanks in the USA. In a first step, the American interest group landscape - with special consideration of the trade unions - and the advocacy scene are roughly outlined and typologized. Then it is about their role in the political system of the USA as well as lobbying as a primary influence strategy as well as attempts to regulate lobbying legally. In a third step, the manifestations of the American interest group landscape are explained using different theoretical approaches, before a fourth and final section deals with the influence of interest groups on the political decision-making process.


Interest groups Trade unions Think tanks Lobbying Super-PACs Advocacy Regulation Collective action
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Heidelberg Center for American StudiesUniversity HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany