Iron triangle

From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej

IRON TRIANGLE – the notion used in American political science and public administration science, meaning the model of relations between three entities influencing the shape of political decisions, in particular legal regulations and budget allocations. The “vertices” of the triangle are: government agency, interest group or coalition of interest groups, congressional committees. The essence of the relationship lies in the mutual dependence of the “vertices” of the triangle: the administration needs support from representatives and interest groups to achieve its goals, the interest group pursues its goals by influencing decisions of the legislative body and government administration, representatives (especially in the US) use the support of interest groups (vote support, financial support) as part of the re-election efforts. The triangle is described as “iron” because researchers recognize that in many cases iron triangles and their connections are so strong that in fact they control public policy, often outside the stage of official institutions. (→ interest group; connections between public administration and interest groups) [D. Długosz]

Literature: A.J. Nownes, Interest Groups in American Politics: Pressure and Power, New York – London 2012