Workshop: “New Frontiers and Innovations in Interest Group Research”, Dubrovnik, 25-27 June 2024


Workshop: “New Frontiers and Innovations in Interest Group Research”


Endorsed by the ECPR Standing Group on Interest Groups


Location: the Inter-University Centre in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Date: 25-27 June 2024

Deadline for abstract submissions: 19 February 2024, to be send to the coordinators.


Workshop Coordinators: Joost Berkhout ( and Darren Halpin (



The Interest Group Section of the ECPR is calling for submissions to a workshop “New Frontiers and Innovations in Interest Group Research”. Over the past two decades or so, an increasingly international research community has evolved in the sub-field of interest groups and advocacy. We have many shared concepts, definitions and methods. In turn, these have enabled substantial growth in the number of active researchers and the accumulation of important research findings.


Celebrating achievements is important, as is continued replication, incremental accumulation and testing. At the same time, as a sub-field, we should also keep pushing at existing boundaries and looking over the horizon at what innovations and new frontiers we can forge, together. New work is, for instance, asking precisely who individual lobbyist are, and incorporating insights from psychology into the field. Others, focus on democratic backsliding, and the role of, and impact on, civil society. Still again, the impact of digital platforms on how advocacy is done, how citizens are mobilised, and influence is exercised are no doubt important ongoing themes. The touch points across political organisations is also important: how do groups, parties, SMOs and civil society organisations ‘fit’ together to organise and represent constituencies? And of course, it is notable that we are seeing the geographic scope of work expanding beyond North America and Western Europe, which is essential for the sub-field.


The workshop invites submissions from scholars who can engage with the theme. In terms of format, the workshop will follow similar conventions to a ECPR Joint Sessions workshop, with a small-ish group of participants (12-14 papers), who read and comment on pre-circulated papers. Contributions can be of two basic types:

  • New Ideas: where participants pitch short papers – up to two – that are formative in nature but substantial enough to benefit from detailed debate and discussion. These may be about concepts, research agendas, or even methods. We would allow contributions in this mode to incorporate two (2) short papers from the same author in their 1 hour slot.
  • Full Papers: where participants have already moved to research that is new, innovative and pushing boundaries, and where it would benefit from detailed review. We would allow contributions in this mode to incorporate one (1) extended research paper from the same participant in their 1 hour slot.


The workshop runs parallel to the Summer School of the ECPR Standing Group on Interest Groups and several joint activities are likely to be organised (key note address, dinner, etc).

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