Keywords: Interest Groups; Public Policy; Lobbying; Influence; Italy.
For a long time, the study of interest groups has not been the most frequented area of research in Italian political science. During the last decades, scholars working in policy studies have revived the topic by analysing the role of interest groups in the policy process; yet they only have provided sectional analyses of the phenomenon. In this paper, we want to present a more comprehensive picture of that role, by comparing interest groups in seven Italian policy sectors in the last twenty years. The empirical analysis reveals some interesting trends: above all, the Italian Interest Groups System (IGS) has become more fragmented than it was in previous decades and parties' gate-keeping functions have weakened with respect to the so-called First Republic.