Please provide an overview on the state of research on negative influence of interest groups on decision-making - including state capture – as well as their potential benefits, based on publicly available information and papers. Particular reference should be given to South East Asia and East Asia including China. Identify factors which control and prevent interest groups from having a negative influence on the governance and policy decisions in a country (e.g. transparency, media, removal of discretion, ways of separating and ensuring conflicts of interest are avoided), providing examples/lessons learned from countries in the region which have curbed corruption/illegal influence by interest groups whilst maintaining the (potential) benefits.
Interest groups are associations of individuals or organisations that on the basis of one or more shared concerns, attempts to influence public policy in its favour usually by lobbying members of the government. Interest groups influence on policy making is not a corrupt or illegitimate activity per se, but a key element of the decision-making process. However, disproportionate and opaque interest group influence may lead to administrative corruption, undue influence, and state capture, favouring particular interest groups at the expense of public interest.
Martini, M. Influence of interest groups on policy-making. U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, CMI, Bergen, (2012) 9 pp. [U4 Expert Answer 335]