INTEREST GROUPS IN THE FIELD OF AGRICULTURAL POLICY: WHO ARE THEY AND WHAT DO THEY DO?

Vitalija Simonaityte, Ligita Sarkute

Abstract


This article analyses interest groups in the agricultural sector in Lithuania, and compares them with the rest of the population of interest groups across other sectors at the national level. The analysis is based on data from the International Comparative Interest Group Survey (CIGS). A survey of organizations representing various interests was carried out from September to November 2016, and covered all Lithuanian interest organizations operating at the national level. The survey was designed to clarify the development of these organizations, their daily activities, and their applied strategies, as well as identifying the challenges they face. In accordance with this study, the aim of this article is to identify the profile and specificity of interest groups in the field of agricultural policy. The data showed that the share of agricultural interest groups is one of the largest amongst the rest of  the population of Lithuanian national interest groups, but the number of members of this sector’s interest groups is lower than average. In the agricultural sector, interest groups are distinguished by the fact that they are clearly dominated by sectoral associations – one of the types of business groups. The Lithuanian agricultural interest organizations that were analysed apply both direct and indirect pressure strategies equally, but they are more likely  than other organizations to contact the representatives of the state bureaucratic apparatus. These are predominantly bureaucrats working in ministries and ministers themselves, although it has to be mentioned that members of the Seimas were also frequently in contact with the Lithuanian agricultural interest organizations under study.

Keywords


interest groups; mapping interest groups; agricultural policy; lobbying; pressure strategies

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"Public Policy and Administration" ISSN online 2029-2872 / ISSN print 1648-2603