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How MPs' ties to interest groups matter for legislative co-sponsorship

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author FischerManuel, VaroneFrédéric, GavaRoy, SciariniPascal,
Project Lobbying, litigation and direct democracy: Comparing advocacy strategies of interest groups in Switzerland and California
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Social Networks
Volume (Issue) 57
Page(s) 34 - 42
Title of proceedings Social Networks
DOI 10.1016/j.socnet.2018.12.001

Open Access

Type of Open Access Repository (Green Open Access)


This article investigates whether linkages between members of parliament (MPs) and interest groups influence MPs' activities of co-sponsoring legislative proposals. Based on statistical models for network data, the study builds on classical explanations of co-sponsorships highlighting the role of similar ties between MPs, such as party membership, legislative committee assignments, electoral district or gender. It shows that, on top of these traditional forms of homophily, MPs’ ties to interest groups matter as well. MPs with ties to a similar type of interest groups are more likely to co-sponsor their respective proposals. The same holds for MPs with ties to groups active in the same policy domain. These findings have implications for the study of groups’ lobbying, legislative behaviour and representative democracy.