David Lowery, Frank R. Baumgartner, Joost Berkhout, Jeffrey M. Berry, Darren Halpin, Marie Hojnacki, Heike Klüver, Beate Kohler-Koch, Jeremy Richardson, Kay Lehman Schlozman
Images of an unbiased interest system

Journal of European Public Policy, 2015: 22, Heft 8, S. 1212-1231
ISSN: 1350-1763 (print); 1466-4429 (online)

Since political scientists were introduced to the concept of ‘the scope and bias of the pressure system’ by Schattschneider more than half a century ago, we have grappled with the lack of a standard against which to assess bias. Still, scholars have continued to address Schattschneider's provocative claim. This means that they must have in their minds at least implicit images of the unknown state of an unbiased interest system. We uncover these implicit images in this analysis both for their own intrinsic interest and perhaps as a foundation for more progressive research on biases in interest representation. Ten scholars who have done considerable work on the politics of interest representation were asked to provide a brief description of what he or she would see as an unbiased interest system. After presenting each, we summarize the themes that emerged and discuss possible avenues for empirical research on bias.