The objective of this paper is to discuss some concepts and review relevant literature on interest groups in the United States, in order to provide a broad guide to the study of the topic. It aims to explore the main questions raised by their presence in the political arena as well as suggest some themes for future research.
The classification of current political tendencies in the United States is sometimes confusing. Since the beginning of Ronald Reagan's first presidential campaign, American journalists and scholars have used indistinctly terms like right, conservatism, neoconservatism, ultraconservatism, extreme right, New Right, etc., to define the different political forces behind Reagan's ascent to the White House. This confusion is evident in the work of John Judis. He believes that Kevin Phillips (a conservative scholar), Paul Weyrich (a New Right activist), Irving Kristol (a neoconservative leader), and William Buckley (a traditional conservative), could all be embraced within the term "conservative" without considering any differences in their theoretical and political position.
International Relations, Foreign Policy, and Politics