Multiple arenas, multiple populations: counting organized interests in Scottish public policy.
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HALPIN, D., BAXTER, G. and MACLEOD, I. 2012. Multiple arenas, multiple populations: counting organized interests in Scottish public policy. In Halpin, D. and Jordan, G. (eds.) The scale of interest organization in democratic politics: data and research methods. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan [online], pages 118-140. Available from: https://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9780230359239_6
The basic premise of this book is that counting populations of organized interests is a worthwhile activity. The opening chapter - not to mention many of the contributions - provides numerous persuasive reasons. In this chapter, all this is taken for granted, and it pursues some of the challenges inherent in actually counting populations. It starts with what seems at face value to be a single perfectly reasonable and achievable aspiration in relation to data on organized interest populations - namely, to be able to say something authoritative about the basic size and composition of the politically active organized interest system. This is a deceptively difficult task.