Helene Marie Fisker

Studies on the Development of Interest Group Populations in Corporative Systems

This dissertation investigates how the Danish population of interest groups develops over time and whether population mechanisms, societal factors, and corporative institutions can explain this development. How interest group populations develop and which factors explain this development are important questions with implications for the quality of democracy. The answers can indicate the degree of bias and diversity in interest group populations. Earlier studies have especially focused on snapshots of the composition of interest group populations and not on the dynamics and development of populations. The dissertation attempts to fill this gap in the literature by investigating the development of a total interest group population. The central claim of the dissertation is that societal factors and population dynamics can explain how a population develops and that corporative institutions moderate the effects of these variables, thereby stabilizing and limiting the population. The results indicate that corporative structures may play a role for population development with respect to formation, political representation, and disbandment. Both societal factors and population mechanisms have an impact on these three development concepts. The analyses further suggest that the corporative institutions may moderate these effects and thereby contribute to stabilizing and limiting the population. As expected, the corporative structures appear to structure and limit the population, which possibly explains why the Danish population has been relatively stable over more than three decades.

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