Although the international literature on interest groups has experienced a substantial growth in recent years, the Italian case is still absent in many comparative research projects. This Italian project (Scuola Normale Superiore Internal Grant GR16_B) aims at addressing this lacuna.
The first step of the project consists of a population study, i.e. the mapping of the Italian associational landscape. Starting from ‘Guida Monaci’, a voluntary and periodic register of Italian organisations, associations and companies, we have been able to identify approximately 1,200 Italian groups that are active at national level. Our next step consists of a national survey (in February 2017) in which we will focus on interest group access to policymakers, bureaucrats and the media; Europeanisation of Italian interest groups; their policy success.
Our aims are not just descriptive. Analytically, we aim to test theories and frameworks – which have become increasingly prevalent in the international literature so far – with respect to Italian interest groups. In this way, we will be able to situate Italian peculiarities in a comparative perspective.