Interest Group Politics

This course is an upper division political science course on the topic of Interest Group Politics. I assume general knowledge of government institutions, political science concepts, and research methods. However, this course will be accessible to students from all academic majors.


This course has three objectives:

  1. We will learn what interest groups do and with what effect. In particular, we will consider the diversity of interest groups and forms of representation.

  2. Second, this course will explore the research methodologies we leverage for studying groups and lobbyist influence. We will discuss how to measure what we sense is true --that interest groups and lobbyists influence public opinion, elections, public policy, and the news. However, pinpointing exactly where, why, how, when, or what influence occurs is harder to do than our intuition might suggest.

  3. Third, you will learn how to navigate California’s publicly available legislative and campaign finance data. This is in the service of bringing politics to political science as well as giving you some employable skills.

© Matt Lesenyie 2020