Since the early 1950s pressure groups have been recognized as playing a key role in the policy process in western democracies. As legislature and political parties have declined in influence, the relationship between pressure groups and government has become highly developed. This haspresented both problems and opportunities for the participation of ordinary citizens in the governmental process. This book reviews some of the key theoretical concepts developed in the study of pressure groups and presents a series of up-to-date studies of their role in particular countries,including the UK, USA, France, and the former Soviet Union. It is an authoritative collection, edited by one of Britain's leading pressure group analysts, and will be invaluable for both students and practitioners who want to understand current developments in the lobbying process.