Advocacy is typically conceived of as an activity where advocacy groups seek and policymakers grant influence. In this paper, we turn the classic approach to advocacy upside down and ask under what conditions policymakers seek to exert influence on the positions adopted by opposing or allied advocacy groups. Two strategies that policymakers can use in their interactions with advocacy groups are proposed: amplification and persuasion. We build on resource exchange theory and the concept of political opportunity structures to explain which strategy a policymaker uses. The analysis relies on a unique database, which draws from 297 interviews with policymakers from 107 different countries at global climate change and trade conferences. Our results demonstrate that, overall, policymakers seek out advocacy groups more when they are faced with increased levels of political pressures. Namely, elected politicians are more prone to seek out opposing societal interests than non-elected policymakers. Moreover, policymakers from democratically accountable countries, who work on salient issues, are more inclined to mobilize their advocacy group allies.
- Advocacy groups
- INTEREST GROUP ACCESS
- International diplomatic conferences
- NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
- Transnational advocacy