Anne Binderkrantz will investigate whether interest groups are the voice of their members

Anne Binderkrantz, professor of political science from Aarhus BSS at Aarhus University, has received DKK 2.9 million from Independent Research Fund Denmark to study how well interest groups represent their members.

Anne Binderkrantz
Anne Binderkrantz Photo: Aarhus University

"Interest groups are important for democracy because they give groups, such as workers, businesses and older people, a voice in politics. This is particularly important today where fewer people are members of a political party and where trust in politicians has been declining in many countries. The question is, however, whether the political views put forward by interest groups in fact reflect the wishes of their members?"

This is what Anne Binderkrantz asks in her description of her new research project, and she already has a theory that the answer is ‘no’: Interest groups are not necessarily good at channelling the wishes of the population into politics.

With the DKK 2.9 million grant from Independent Research Fund Denmark, Anne Binderkrantz is now able to realise her study of how well the wishes of the population align with the political priorities of interest groups.

"The grant enables me to examine an important question: How good are interest groups really at representing their members? This is a question that is very topical today because interest groups have become highly professionalised. This can give them a stronger role politically, but it can also move them away from their members," says Binderkrantz.

As part of the project, Anne Binderkrantz will study more than 200 interest groups in Denmark and the UK using computer-assisted text coding and surveys among the general public and interest groups.

Further information:

  • Project title: ”When do interest groups represent their members?”
  • Grant in total: DKK 2,876,383
  • For more information about Anne Binderkrantz and her research go to Anne Binderkrantz' PURE profile