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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Governance
Volume (Issue) 32(2)
Page(s) 277 - 293
Title of proceedings Governance

Open Access

Type of Open Access Repository (Green Open Access)


This study assesses whether economic interest groups (business associations and trade unions) enjoy better access to the policymaking process than citizen groups. It compares the interest group population in Switzerland with those sets of groups present in the administrative and legislative venues. The study devises an aggregate measure of access to policymaking as a whole, which weights access according to different venues' importance. It theorizes the granting of access as a sequential process. Policymakers first decide whether to grant any access at all (selection stage) and then decide on the amount of access (allocation stage). Empirical evidence shows that policymakers do not discriminate between economic and citizen groups at the selection stage, but that they subsequently grant more access to economic groups. These findings qualify existing research, which interprets economic groups' superior access as the resilience of neo‐corporatism, while also questioning the pluralizing effect of multiple policymaking venues.