Beyond the usual suspects: interest groups in the Global South

Patrycja Rozbicka, Laura Mahrenbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding interest group systems is crucial to understanding the functioning of advanced democracies, but less is known about its relevance in developing and nascent democracies. While advocacy studies in the Global North have exploded since the late 1990s, exploration of organized interest activities in the Global South remains a niche topic, impeding comparative analysis. In this introductory essay— and in this special issue—we make a case for why investigating lobbying in the Global South can improve theoretical and empirical understandings of advocacy processes and make our work more relevant for contemporary policy questions. We also provide tips for how to best engage with the unique challenges of lobbying in Southern policymaking settings and processes. Drawing on the findings from the special issue, the essay concludes by presenting a contemporary research agenda for interest group scholars which identifies where synergies already exist and where South–South and North–South comparative case studies can be built. In so doing, we promote a mutually beneficial dialogue which tables existing research con‑ tributions and gaps in each region as opportunities for communal discussion and learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-131
Number of pages17
JournalInterest Groups and Advocacy
Issue number2
Early online date23 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © The Author(s) 2023, under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited. This version of the article has been accepted for publication, after peer review and is subject to Springer Nature’s AM terms of use [], but is not the Version of Record and does not reflect post-acceptance improvements, or any corrections. The Version of Record is available online at:


  • Advocacy
  • Global North
  • Global South
  • Interest groups
  • Lobbying


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