Party-Interest Group Relationships in Contemporary Democracies: Character, Causes and Consequences


The project will provide a truly comparative study of the varieties and impact of party-group relationships on a scale hitherto unparalleled within the social and political sciences. It will break new ground by examining party-group links from both sides rather than using either groups or parties as starting point. Aiming to renew both theory and methods within party/interest group research, we believe this new study will be of great value to the different kinds of scholars concerned with questions about the nature and effects of varying party-group relationships in democratic politics, and may also impact on those who run, belong to and report on the organizations involved.
The relationship between political parties and interest groups is a multi-dimensional phenomenon, and how to study it is open to debate. Accordingly, we will first look for a way to conceptualize party-group relationships that reduces the dimensions along which they can vary so that, after having mapped similarities and differences, we can examine the factors that shape them and their political impact. Empirically, the major goals of the project are to:
• Map the character of contemporary party-interest group relationships, mainly as an organizational phenomenon
• Identify the shaping factors of party-group relationships in this sense (at the country and party/group level)
• Measure patterns of party-group influence and the impact of on public policy
In this way, we also hope to expose the broader role of party-group relationships in democratic governance.


The project will provide a truly comparative study of the varieties and impact of party-group relationships on a scale hitherto unparalleled within the social and political sciences. It will break new ground by examining party-group links from both sides rather than using either groups or parties as starting point. Aiming to renew both theory and methods within party/interest group research, we believe this new study will be of great value to the different kinds of scholars concerned with questions about the nature and effects of varying party-group relationships in democratic politics, and may also impact on those who run, belong to and report on the organizations involved.
The relationship between political parties and interest groups is a multi-dimensional phenomenon, and how to study it is open to debate. Accordingly, we will first look for a way to conceptualize party-group relationships that reduces the dimensions along which they can vary so that, after having mapped similarities and differences, we can examine the factors that shape them and their political impact. Empirically, the major goals of the project are to:
• Map the character of contemporary party-interest group relationships, mainly as an organizational phenomenon
• Identify the shaping factors of party-group relationships in this sense (at the country and party/group level)
• Measure patterns of party-group influence and the impact of on public policy
In this way, we also hope to expose the broader role of party-group relationships in democratic governance.


Principal investigators
Klüver, Heike Prof. Dr. (Details) (Comparative Political Behaviour)
Haugsjerd Allern, Elin Prof. Dr. (University of Oslo)

Participating external organisations

Duration of project
Start date: 10/2014
End date: 09/2018

Research Areas
Politisches Verhalten

Last updated on 2022-03-01 at 13:42