Short Course: Data Sources for Interest Group Research

Data Sources for Interest Group Research

Half Day, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Washington State Convention Center, Room 604

Organizer: Political Organizations and Parties (POP) Section
Timothy M. LaPira, James Madison University (POP secretary)
Beth L. Leech, Rutgers University (POP past president)

There is a growing range of data sources available for the study of the advocacy efforts of organized interests and a growing ability to address interesting questions that had long been left on the sidelines. This workshop introduces some of the largest and most useful data sets for studying interest groups and instructs participants in how to use those data. The data sources discussed include reports filed under the US Lobbying Disclosure Act and data about the policy positions of US interest groups collected by the MapLight nonprofit organization, and a wide range of data about the advertising efforts of US interest groups, collected through the Wesleyan Media Project, the Federal Communications Commission, and social media sites themselves. The short course will also feature presentations about data for interest groups in the European Union and the United Kingdom, as collected by the Comparative Interest Groups survey project and the INTERARENA project.

Presenters during the workshop will include:

Jesse M. Crosson (Trinity University), Alexander C. Furnas (Northwestern University), and Geoffrey M. Lorenz (University of Nebraska) on interest group positions data from MapLight.org.

Timothy M. LaPira (James Madison University) and Herschel F. Thomas III (West Virginia University) on using data from the Lobbying Disclosure Act

Travis Ridout (Washington State University), Erika Fowler (Wesleyan University) and Michael Franz (Bowdoin College) on interest group advocacy through advertising

Jan Beyers (University of Antwerp) on the Comparative Interest Group survey project and its cross-national data sets

Helene Helboe Pedersen (Aarhus University) on the INTERARENA project.

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