When Does Government Listen to the Public? (GovLis)

In democracies, a central concern is whether government policy is responsive to citizen preferences. GovLis aims at extending our existing knowledge of political responsiveness by linking data on interest groups, public opinion and decision-making. It explores how a) interest groups, b) differences in the character of the debated policies/issues, and c) institutional differences between countries affect whether public opinion is translated into policy. The project has support from a four-year Sapere Aude Grant from the Danish Council for Independent Research and a five-year VIDI grant from the Nederlands Organisation for Scientific Research awarded to Anne Rasmussen. More information about GovLis can be found on

Intereuro (INTEREURO)

The main purpose of INTEREURO is to get a more comprehensive theoretical and empirical understanding of the role interest groups play in the European polity. We will examine the strategies that they use for influencing political decision-making, their impact on outcomes and their networks. The project is supported by the European Science Foundation and includes more than 20 scholars from a wide variety of European countries as well as North America. The Dutch project component aims at mapping and analyzing the EU population of interest groups across space and time. This component is funded by a grant from the Dutch national science foundation (NWO) awarded to David Lowery (Penn State/Leiden) (PI), Anne Rasmussen (Leiden) & Joost Berkhout (Amsterdam).


The project: “INTERARENA – Interest Groups across Political Arenas” analyzes group influence on the bureaucracy, parliament and the media in Denmark, Great Britain and the Netherlands. Among other things the project seeks to establish which groups are successful in attracting the attention of the media or bureaucrats and thus affecting political and administrative decisions. The project has received a Sapere Aude grant from the Danish Council for Independent Research awarded to Anne Binderkrantz (Aarhus) (PI) and a project team consisting of Darren Halpin (ANU), Helene Helboe-Pedersen (Aarhus), Peter Munk Christiansen (Aarhus) and Anne Rasmussen (Leiden).

Party-Interest Group Relationships in Contemporary Democracies (PAIRDEM)

The PAIRDEM project examines the nature, the shaping factors and the consequences for policy-making of party-group relationships in long-established democracies across the world. It aims at a) mapping the character of contemporary party-interest group relationships, mainly as an organizational phenomenon, b) identifying the shaping factors of party-group relationships in this sense (at the country and party/group level) and c) measuring patterns of party-group influence and their impact on public policy. The project is financed by a grant for “FRIHUMSAM Young Research Talents” from The Research Council of Norway awarded to Elin Allern (PI). She is supported by a project team consisting of Tim Bale, Heike Kluever, Thomas Poguntke, Anne Rasmussen, Paul Webb, Christopher Witko and David Marshall.

Left-wing Parties and Trade Unions across the World

This project conducts a comparative study of party-trade union relationships in 13 different countries with Elin Allern (Oslo) and Tim Bale (Queen Mary) as principal investigators. Existing empirical studies suggest that party-union links have indeed declined in many cases, but more comparative research is needed to describe systematically and precisely the development across countries. Our focus is on the more or less organized links that may connect decision-makers and/or decision-making bodies on both sides. Together with Simon Otjes, I am responsible for the Dutch country study.

Interest representation in Denmark, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom

In 2006 I received a grant from from the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation to examine Europeanization of interest intermediation in Denmark, the Netherlands and Great Britain. The project gathered information from more than 1,200 national interest group respondents in the three countries about their activities and lobbying targets in EU and national policy. A key aim was to investigate how national interest groups interact with national political parties and how much the EU affects this pattern of interaction.

Representation and policy agendas in the European Union

In 2010 I received support from the Montesquieu Institute, Netherlands for a project linked to the EU Policy Agendas Project, which aims at studying attention to and participation in policy issues on the agendas of different EU institutions. More specifically my team examined participation in European Commission consultations, Commission expert committees and European Parliament hearings.