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Environmental Limits on the Diversity of State Interest Organization Systems: A Population Ecology Interpretation

Virginia Gray and David Lowery
Political Research Quarterly
Vol. 49, No. 1 (Mar., 1996), pp. 103-118
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. on behalf of the University of Utah
DOI: 10.2307/449043
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/449043
Page Count: 16
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Environmental Limits on the Diversity of State Interest Organization Systems: A Population Ecology Interpretation
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Abstract

Our stock of theory about variation in interest organization diversity is quite limited. At best, we view diversity as an outcome of mobilization processes. We critique this view and develop an alternative conceptualization of diversity based on population ecology models of interest group density. Based on tests of these models (Lowery and Gray 1995), we simulate how state interest organization diversity responds to changes in the environmental forces governing the growth of interest organization populations. We then consider the implications of our reconceptualization of representational diversity for the further study of interest organization systems.

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