Prof. Dr. Heike Klüver

Lobbying in the European Union

Interest Groups, Lobbying Coalitions, and Policy Change

by Heike Klüver

Published by Oxford University Press, 2013
Lobbying in the European Union sets a new standard for rigorous scholarly analysis of the role of interest organizations in public policy. With its careful theoretical analysis, ambitious empirical research, and cutting edge measurement of that most illusive of concept, interest group influence, will be one of the most important works written on the politics of interest representation in the last two decades. It will be absolutely essential reading for anyone interested in either politics in Brussels or in the politics of organized interests more generally. - David Lowery, Pennsylvania State University

Klüver´s work is groundbreaking. Instead of avoiding the topic of interest group influence, as has been done for so long in interest group research, she takes it head-on. She develops an innovative measurement technique to quantify interest group and institutional positions with computer-assisted content analysis. While the approach is new, it is grounded in and validated by a large body of research that has used these techniques in the study of political parties. The result is not only important as it provides new insights into the nature of interest group influence, but the foundation of a new line of research methods on which other scholars can build. - Christine Mahoney, University of Virginia

Klüver sets a new standard methodologically by using state-of-the-art computer-assisted content analysis techniques to map the effect of interventions by interest groups on policy proposals in the European Union. Moving beyond previous approaches, she is able to ask familiar questions (can interest groups affect the policy process, and under what conditions?) but to answer them on a much larger scale because she makes use of large stores of documentary evidence to assess change in European Commission regulations from their initial proposal through the policy process to final formulation. She can then statistically assess which groups see the proposals move more in the direction they prefer. The work is therefore a tour-de-force of research methodology, setting new ground that future scholars will not be able to ignore. - Frank R. Baumgartner, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Book Reviews

West European Politics [Link to review]

Party Politics [Link to review]

Public Administration [Link to review]

Political Studies [Link to review]

Journal of European Integration [Link to review]

Journal of Common Market Studies [Link to review]

London School of Economics and Political Science - European Politics and Policy Blog [Link to review]

Book Summary

Why can some interest groups influence policy-making while others cannot? Even though this question is central to the study of politics, we know little about the factors explaining interest group influence. Understanding lobbying success should be of particular concern to scholars of European politics since the European Union constitutes a promising political opportunity structure for organized interests. This book sheds light on the impact of interest groups on European policy-making and makes a major contribution to the study of both European Union politics and interest groups more generally. Klüver develops a comprehensive theoretical model for understanding lobbying success and presents an extensive empirical analysis of interest group influence on policy-making in the EU. The book relies on a large, new and innovative dataset that combines a wide variety of data sources including a quantitative text analysis of European Commission consultations, an online survey of interest groups, information gathered on interest group websites and legislative data retrieved from EU databases. This book analyzes interest group influence across 56 policy issues and 2,696 interest groups and shows that lobbying is an exchange relationship in which the European institutions trade influence for information, citizen support and economic power. Importantly, this book demonstrates that it is not sufficient to solely focus on individual interest groups, but that it is crucial how interest groups come together in issue-specific lobbying coalitions. Lobbying is a collective enterprise in which information supply, citizen support and economic power of entire lobbying coalitions are decisive for lobbying success.

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