Call for Research Assistants: Interest Group Politics Lab Group

The Interest Group Politics Lab Group at the University of Michigan calls for research assistants for the Fall 2014 semester. Participating undergraduate students can earn between 1 and 3 academic credits in the Department of Political Science or the Organizational Studies Program. For more information, contact Professor Michael Heaney, mheaney@umich.edu.

Interest groups are an omnipresent form of political organization in pluralist democracies. They represent a wide range of interests, from the environment and labor to medical professions, industries, and business. Yet because interest groups are not a formal part of government, relatively little is known about how they influence politics. Do they have too much power? Too little? Do some groups get represented more than others? Do they contribute to inequality or do they help to raise every voice in politics?

The Interest Group Politics Lab Group at the University of Michigan explores many questions related to the political functions of interest groups. During the 2014-2015 academic year, we will focus on three projects. First, we will examine how interest groups work together in lobbying coalitions. What are the factors that make it easier for them to collaborate and what factors make it harder? Second, we will look at how interest groups strategize about their organizational identities. How do they make themselves unique in a crowd of thousands of other groups? Third, we will explore networks of interest groups. How are different groups connected with one another? Who are the brokers in this network?

Student responsibilities include: (1) Online data searches; (2) Coding qualitative material; (3) Interview transcription; (4) Statistical analysis; and (5) Writing and proofreading reports.

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Political Networks Lab Group Researcher Erin Reed

Erin presented her research at the UROP Research Scholars Spring Forum on April 6, 2011. Erin researched the racial diversity within the anti-war movement, and overall war opinions of African Americans.

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2011 UROP Political Networks Lab Group

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program 2011 student researchers of Professor Michael Heaney at the University of Michigan.

From left to right: Erin Reed, Alex Hartley, Michael Heaney, Monica Shattuck, Katrina Gumbinner, Michael Stern, Sahar Adora, Courtney Lantzer, and Rayza Goldsmith.

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Political Networks Lab Group Researcher Courtney Lantzer

Courtney Lantzer presented her research at the Research Scholars Spring Forum on April 6, 2011. Courtney studied how democratic presidential candidates were affected by war.

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Political Networks Lab Group Researcher Michael Stern

Michael Stern presented his research at the UROP Symposium on April 19, 2011. Michael researched the Congress support for and opposition to the anti-war resolutions during 2002-2010.


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Political Networks Lab Group Researcher Rayza Goldsmith

Rayza presented her research at the UROP symposium on April 19, 2011. She researched the partisan composition of the anti-war movement in the United States from 2007-2009.

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Political Networks Lab Group Researcher Sahar Adora

Sahar represented her research at the UROP Symposium on April 19, 2011. Sahar evaluated the Democratic shift during the anti-war movement.

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Political Networks Lab Group Researcher Katrina Gumbinner

Katrina Gumbinner presented her research at the UROP symposium on April 19, 2011. Katrina researchered foreign policy views in electoral debates.

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Political Networks Lab Group Member Alex Hartley

A political networks lab group researcher, Alex Hartley, presented his research at the UROP symposium on April 19, 2011. Alex researched Anti-War activists in the 2008 election.

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Political Networks Lab Group Researcher Monica Shattuck

Monica Shattuck, a political networks lab group student researcher, presented her year end project at the UROP symposium on April 19, 2011. Monica researched the anti-movement and hybrid activism.

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