Local interest groups and the perception of power in Spanish cities

Joaquim M. Molins, Iván Medina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


© Revista Española de Ciencia Política, 2018. Studies on local interest groups have generated a considerable number of theories on urban power that have eventually become the basis of far-reaching approaches on democracy and collective action. Such literature has been especially concerned with discovering who governs the city, paving the way for discussions on elitism, pluralism and urban regimes. Some approaches consider that the business elite dominates local politics, while other theories assert that interests other than business (neighbors, environmentalists, faith-based organizations, civic groups) have been gaining relevance and access to local government. The POLLEADER survey (2006) provided data on the influence of certain social groups as perceived by mayors in Spain. Data showed that the local business community was, at best, as influential and active as voluntary associations. With recent data from the POLLEADER II survey (2015), this article confirms a certain pluralistic model of local power and, it considers the number of inhabitants and the Mayors' ideology as key factors to determine variation in the way interest groups' influence is perceived.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-102
JournalRevista Espanola de Ciencia Politica
Issue number46
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Business
  • Cities
  • Interest groups
  • Mayors
  • Power


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