Interacting interests : exploring the nature of interest group coalition building in the regulatory state
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The lobbying literature is rife with studies of interest groups, spanning their democratic value, successes, failures, and the tools they employ in advocating for their positions. One of these tools is coalition building, where interest groups join forces with one another in lobbying. While the literature pertaining to coalitions is theoretically vibrant, due to difficulties in collecting comprehensive empirical data, scholars have relied heavily on qualitative evidence to answer questions concerning coalition building (Timmermans 2016). Addressing this gap, this paper presents a dataset that tracks coalition building through public comments that have been co-submitted by interest groups during the notice-and-comment periods of rules proposed by federal agencies. It contains all public comments submitted by a random sample of 40 American interest groups between 1998 and 2015. Using this data, I explore the composition, recurrence, and policy emphases of interest group coalitions.