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FGGA Research Seminar: Darren Halpin, Australia National University

  • Darren Halpin, Australia National University
Thursday 15 June 2017
FGGA Research Seminar Series Spring 2017
Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP The Hague

Title: Interest Group Policy Agendas and Issue Priorities – What are they, how can we study them, and why do they matter?

Abstract: Interest groups are often considered to be important participants in various stages of policy making and democratic governance more generally. While we know a lot about their involvement in various policy venues and arenas, we know less about the internal processes groups deploy to arrive at their policy agenda, the structure of that agenda, and what drives issues to the top of their group policy issue agenda.

In this talk, Darren will address these and related themes using data from a project underway on interest groups and public policy in Australia. The project has assembled data on over 1000 different national groups. To investigate these themes, the project has deployed surveys, observations of group activity in the legislative arena, social and legacy media appearances, and elite interviews with group staff. The talk will argue that understanding how groups decide what policy issues matter to them, what their policy positions on an issue will be, and on what issues to actively engage on, is essential in weighing up the claimed benefits of groups for governance.

Short biography of Darren Halpin

Darren Halpin is Professor of Political Science at the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University. His research agenda examines interest groups in the policy process, with specific emphasis on the political representation provided by groups, the level of (and necessity for) internal democracy within groups, and in assessing group organizational development/capacity. Halpin has explored these themes in two recent books: Groups, Representation and Democracy (Manchester University Press) and The Organization of Political Interest Groups (Routledge). He is also a co-editor of the journal Interest Groups and Advocacy.


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