Joseph LaPalombara

Empirical Explanation in Political Science: The Case of Interest Groups

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In this article, I treat the gradual but improved ways in which the discipline of political science conceptualizes and examines the important role in the political policy process played by interest groups. Obstacles lying in the way of improvement of research have in part been overcome by a new wave of empirical analysts. With more sophisticated analytical techniques now in vogue, and the wider availability of data, researchers have come closer to explaining exactly how and why certain policies are adopted. I give specific attention to the impact of social media on lobbying in the Electronic Age, and I contextualize newer interest group research in terms of the rampant inequality that today characterizes the U.S. and so many other advanced industrial democratic countries.


  • Interest Groups
  • Pluralism
  • Political Mobilization
  • Veto Groups
  • Inequality
  • Political Paradigms
  • Social Media


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