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Bolleyer, Nicole (2020): State funding pressure in interest groups, political parties and service-oriented membership organisations. In: West European Politics, Vol. 44, No. 7: pp. 1577-1603
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Abstract

This article explores which interest groups, political parties and service-oriented organisations - membership-based voluntary organisations constitutive for civil society - experience the accessing and maintenance of state funding as a major challenge and why. Building on resource dependency theory, hypotheses are presented on how different financial dependencies (public and private) and the diversity of organisational income affect how intensely membership-based organisations are exposed to state funding pressure. Testing these hypotheses with new data from four organisation surveys in Germany, Norway, Switzerland and the UK indicates that different types of state funding dependencies (e.g. grants, contracts) as well as funding diversity increase organisational concerns about state funding, while reliance on membership fees reduces them. These findings have important repercussions as state funding pressure is central to organisations' revenue-seeking behaviour by focussing leaders' attention on state authorities, thereby redirecting organisational priorities away from organisations' constituencies.