Joost Berkhout is associate professor in political science specialized in research on interest organizations (research interests: mobilization, political organization, organizational ecology of interest representation, lobbying, public action, networks).
He is member of the Steering Committee of the ECPR Standing Group on Interest Groups.
His research was previously focussed on the project ‘Why interests organize on only some issues: Assessing the density and diversity of interest organizations in Western Europe’ (NWO-Veni, 2013-2017). This project is motivated by the puzzle that in some policy domains, such as education, development and health care, a large number and variety of organizations is politically active whereas in other domains, such as defense, banking and housing, there are only a small number of organizations active representing a relatively narrow range of interests. To date, these differences have not been systematically assessed. The research project fills this gap in the literature by describing and explaining the variation in the number (density) and character (diversity) of interest organizations in twenty policy domains in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the Netherlands.
This research builds upon Joost Berkhout’s doctoral research. In his PhD-dissertation Political Activities of Interest Organizations defended in 2010 in Leiden, he examined why interest organizations do what they do. In that, he points to the relationship between the population of interest organizations and the strategies that organizations pursue to influence policies. An important part of this research deals with EU-level interest representation.
Between 2009 and 2012, Joost Berkhout has been a post-doctoral researcher in the EU-funded project 'Support and Opposition to Migration' (SOM). The key research question in this study is: Why has immigration become an important political issue in some European countries but far less so (or later, of differently) in other countries? At the University of Amsterdam this project is coordinated by Wouter van der Brug and other project members include Laura Sudulich.
Joost Berkhout is a member of the programme-group 'Challenges to Democratic Representation' of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR).
Joost Berkhout teaches a graduate-level elective course titled 'Collective Action and Interest Group Politics'. Previous teaching includes courses on interest representation, political behavior, politicization of migration and MA-thesis project.
Joost Berkhout earned his PhD-degree at Leiden University in 2010. He has been a visiting researcher at the European University Institute in 2008. Earlier, he obtained masters and bachelors degrees in International Relations and Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam.