Patterns of conflict and mobilization: Mapping interest group activity in EU legislative policymaking

Arndt Wonka, Iskander De Bruycker, Dirk De Bievre, Caelesta Braun, Jan Beyers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Contemporary studies on interest group politics have mainly used single interest organizations as their central objects of study. This has led to a rich body of knowledge on the motivations of interest group mobilization, strategy development and even policy access and influence. The focus on single interest groups, however, has resulted in limited knowledge on aggregate patterns of interest groups' activity. This article seeks to address this lacuna, by examining patterns of mobilization and conflict of interest groups' activity in EU legislative policymaking. To do so, it adopts a unique policy-centred research design and an empirical assessment of policy mobilization for a sample of 125 EU legislative proposals based on extensive media coding as well as structured elite interviews. We find that levels of policy mobilization vary substantively across different legislative proposals and that political conflict between interest groups is remarkably low. This suggests that interest group conflict and mobilization contribute little to EU politicization and that in cases where interest groups voice opposing positions, conflicts do not occur between business and non-business groups. Our findings have important implications for our understanding of interest groups in EU legislative policymaking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-146
Number of pages11
JournalPolitics and Governance
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • European Union
  • interest groups
  • legislative policy-making
  • mobilization
  • political conflict
  • INTEREST GROUP DENSITY
  • EUROPEAN-UNION
  • ORGANIZED INTERESTS
  • PUBLIC-INTEREST
  • POLITICIZATION
  • BANDWAGONS
  • PLURALISM
  • POLITICS
  • CONTEXT
  • ACCESS

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