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The Dispersion of Interest Group Influence
The dispersion of interest group influence

Interest groups have been on the American political scene for some time now. In the Federalist Papers James Madison recognized the dangers of such groups—or “factions,” as he called them—and the founding fathers designed a republic that they hoped would hold factions in check. A half-century later, on his travels through the country, Alexis de Tocqueville noted how disposed Americans were to organize into interest groups. If anything, the group phenomenon, notable in the early nineteenth century, has been gaining in strength since then. Currently, interest groups are fundamental units, and their lobbyists key actors, in the national and state political systems. They are vilified but also accepted as part of America's pluralistic political ...

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