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Institutional Context, Organizational Resources and Strategic Choices : Explaining Interest Group Access in the European Union

[journal article]

Eising, Rainer

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Abstract Drawing on a survey of 800 business associations, the article seeks to explain why interest groups lobby the EU institutions and what groups maintain contacts with them. Rooted in organizational theory, it argues that four main dimensions influence access patterns — institutional context, resource dependencies, interest group organization, and strategic choices. The empirical analysis demonstrates that all dimensions are relevant. Nonetheless, contacts between EU policy-makers and interest groups display only a few general traits: they are shaped by the political mobilization of groups in response to EU regulation, the division of labour among EU and national associations and the importance of organizational resources. Beyond these general influences, the interactions vary profoundly in the segmented institutional context.
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; European Politics
Free Keywords access and influence; comparative politics; European Union; interest groups; oraganization theory; political exchange
Document language English
Publication Year 2007
Page/Pages p. 329-362
Journal European Union Politics, 8 (2007) 3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)