West European Politics publishes a new Special Issue on the INTEREURO project

Comparative and EU interest group studies are marked by a progression towards theory-driven, large-N empirical studies in the past 20 years. With the study of national interest organizations in EU policy-making, the West European Politics Special Issue special issue puts a theoretically and empirically neglected topic in this research field centre stage. The individual contributions include interest group characteristics, institutional contexts as well as issue contexts as explanatory factors in their empirical analyses of multilevel interest representation. This Special Issue of West European Politics presents novel developments in the study of political alignments among interest groups and political institutions, the Europeanization of domestic interest organizations, and the question of bias in interest group populations. Thereby, they do not only contribute to the comparative study of interest groups, but also to the analysis of policy-making, multilevel governance, and political representation in the EU.

The INTEREURO survey has been launched!

In the aftermath of the INTEREURO-project we launched several interest group surveys, including a large survey among EU level organized interests. The objective is to develop systematic knowledge about the organizational development as well as the political strategies of civil society organizations, interest groups, lobby groups and advocacy organizations. What kind of challenges do these organizations face and how do they manage them? Our aim is to achieve a better understanding of the daily operations of civil society organizations across different national settings. For this purpose, we conducted a systematic mapping of the interest group populations in different European countries, including the EU-level. At this moment large surveys are conducted in the EU-level, Spain, Lithuania, Poland, Italy, Slovenia, Belgium, Sweden, and the Netherlands. Additional surveys are planned for the Czech Republic, Germany and the United Kingdom. More information on this this Comparative Interest Group Survey Project can be found at a separate project website: www.cigsurvey.eu.

INTEREURO Special Issue of the Journal of European Public Policy

The aim of this Special Issue of the Journal of European Public Policy is to investigate the contextual nature of EU-level lobbying. The various contributions by leading scholars in the field (among whom Mahoney, Klüver, Dür, Bernhagen, Binderkrantz, Eising, Rasmussen, Beyers, Naurin, et cetera) explore how characteristics of concrete policy issues and the institutional context in which interest groups operate affect lobbying activities and the ability to influence EU legislative outcomes. A large number of interest group studies, in the EU and elsewhere, has traditionally focused on the characteristics of individual interest groups such as their financial resources, their organizational characteristics or their policy expertise. Much less attention has been paid to institutional and issue-specific contextual factors that affect interest group lobbying in the EU. While most studies of EU legislative politics have studied the EU institutions (Council, Parliament, Commission) and EU-level parties, almost no systematic and quantitative research has been conducted on how interests groups mobilize during and influence EU legislative policymaking processes. This Special Issue fills this defect in our knowledge by theorizing and empirically analyzing the impact of contextual characteristics – more in particular the issue-specific nature of lobbying and the institutional setting in which lobbying takes place – on interest group politics in the EU.

Click here to visit the web page of this issue.