The modern legacy of Mobilizing Interest Groups in America

Abstract

Jack Walker’s Mobilizing Interest Groups in America (1991) was groundbreaking both in terms of its theoretical and methodological contributions to political science and the unfortunate and challenging circumstances surrounding its publication. An enterprising group of co-authors and graduate students shared Walker’s comprehensive study of Washington D.C. interest groups with the public to positive critical and scholarly reception. According to Google Scholar, as of January 2021 the book has been cited more than 1400 times since its original publication in 1991. However, the question of how current scholars use the text remains open. Through an analysis of recent research, this review demonstrates how contemporary interest group scholarship incorporates Mobilizing Interest Groups in America. Although Walker’s work remains relevant across a range of subfields, most scholarly references are cursory or focus on methodological differences, leaving room for deeper engagement with Walker’s theories and conclusions. His findings regarding the role of patrons and inside/outside lobbying strategies particularly merit reexamination given changes in lobbying context (e.g., online mobilization). This review covers authors’ depth of engagement with Walker, the substantive focus of their citations, and areas for future research.

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Correspondence to Kathleen Marchetti.

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Marchetti, K. The modern legacy of Mobilizing Interest Groups in America. Int Groups Adv 10, 78–84 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41309-021-00115-2

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Keywords

  • Review article
  • Mobilizing interest groups in America
  • Jack Walker