Interest Group Lobbying and Political Equality
37 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2022
Date Written: July 13, 2022
Interest group lobbying is a multi-billion-dollar practice central to contemporary democratic policymaking. Surprisingly, few political theorists have analyzed interest group lobbying and those who have are largely critical of the practice. However, the practice of interest group lobbying and interest groups holding influence in policymaking are both justifiable, and sometimes beneficial, under certain conditions. Through this analysis, this Article begins to develop a normative framework to morally assess civil society groups holding influence in policymaking. Interest group lobbying also generates challenges for influential theories of political equality given the multiple types of influence that exist during policymaking and the complex policymaking ecosystems in which interest groups operate. As a result, it is questionable whether existing theories of political equality can structure existing democratic practices. A workable theory of political equality that can design democratic institutions and practices will likely look more pluralistic, empirically contingent, and institutionally sensitive than existing accounts.
Keywords: Lobbying, political equality, interest groups, political influence, democratic policymaking, relational egalitarianism
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