ASTK15379U COURSE: Comparative lobbying and lobbying regulation

Volume 2015/2016

Bachelorlevel: 10 ECTS
Masterlevel: 7,5 ECTS




Lobbying has become an integral part of policy making and politics in both established and new democracies as well as some authoritarian systems and international organizations. This course examines lobbying from a comparative perspective, focusing on (i) the macro-charachteristics of lobbying systems, including the difference between pluralistic and corporatist polities, (ii) the micro-characteristics of how and why public officials communicate with and are influenced by lobbyists and the institutional determinants thereof and (iii) the attempts around the world to regulate lobbying in different ways. The course also covers the normative considerations created by lobbying including its potential advantages, such as technically informed policy making, and pitfalls, such as regulatory capture and bias.


This course is very useful for students who wish to work in public bodies that receive and react to inputs from outside stakeholders or in private organizations that seek to influence public policy. The course is also very useful for students interested in any new forms of governance, where decisions are not taken solely within formally empowered institutions.

Learning Outcome

The seminar's objective is to enable students to:

  • Describe ideal type lobbying systems and key differences between them.

  • Give an account of the insider-outsider, network and resource exchange theories of lobbying.

  • Critically analyze lobbyist choices such as where and when to lobby.

  • Critically analyze how institutional features including regime type influence interactions between lobbyists and public officials.

  • Reflect on the state of the academic field of study including prevalent data and measurement issues.

  • Reflect on the successes and failures of lobbying regulations around the world.

  • Evaluate the positive and negative normative aspects of lobbying in a particular polity.

  • Relate the development of lobbying systems to other trends in how states and organizations produce policy and make decisions.


R. Kenneth Godwin, Scott Ainsworth, Erik K. Godwin (2012); Lobbying and Policymaking: The Public Pursuit of Private Interests. CQ Press.

Raj Chari, John Hogan, and Gary Murphy (2011): Regulating Lobbying: A Global Comparison, Manchester University Press (European Politics Research Unit Series).

Clive S. Thomas and Ronald J. Hrebenar (2008): “Understanding interest groups, lobbying and lobbyists in developing democracies” in Journal of Public Affairs, vol. 8, Issue 1-2, pp. 1-14.

Conor McGrath (2008): “The development and regulation of lobbying in the new member states of the European Union” in Journal of Public Affairs, vol. 8, Issue 1-2, pp. 15-32.

Vineeta Yidav (2008): “Business lobbies and policymaking in developing countries: The contrasting cases of India and China” in Journal of Public Affairs, vol. 8, Issue 1-2, pp. 67-82.

Marie Hojnacki, David C. Kimball, Frank R. Baumgartner, Jeffrey M. Berry and Beth L. Leech (2012): “Studying organizational advocacy and influence: Reexamining Interest Group Research” in The Annual Review of Political Science, vol. 15, pp. 379-399.

Jan Beyers, Rainer Eising and William Maloney (2008): “Researching Interest Group Politics in Europe and Elsewhere: Much We Study, Little We Know?” in West European Politics, vol. 31, issue 6, pp. 1103-1128.

Pieter Bouwen (2004): “Exchanging access goods for access: A comparative study of business lobbying in the European Union institutions” in European Journal of Political Research, vol. 43, issue 3, pp 337-369.

Marcel Hanegraaff, Jan Beyers and Caelesta Braun (2011): “Open the door to more of the same? The development of interest group representation at the WTO” in World Trade Review, vol. 10, issue 4, pp. 447-472.

Christine Mahoney and Frank Baumgartner (2008): “Converging perspectives on interest group research in Europe and America” in West European Politics, vol. 31, issue 6, pp. 1253-1273.

David Lowery and Virginia Gray (2004): “Bias in the heavenly chorus: Interest in society and before government” in Journal of Theoretical Politics, vol. 16, issue 1, pp 5-29.

Peter Munk Christiansen and Hilmar Rommetvedt (2002): “From corporatism to lobbyism? - Parliaments, executives and organized interests in Denmark and Norway” in Scandinavian Political Studies, vol. 22, issue 3, pp. 195-220.

Anne Binderkrantz (2012): “Customizing strategy: Policy goals and interest group strategies” inInterest Groups and Advocacy, vol. 1, pp 115-138.

William Maloney, Grant Jordan and Andrew McLaughlin (1994): “Interest groups and public policy: The insider/outsider model revisited” in Journal of Public Policy, vol. 14, issue 1, pp. 17-38.

Laura Baroni, Brendan J. Carroll, Adam W. Chalmers, Luz M. M. Marquez (2014): “Defining and classifying interest groups” in Interest Groups and Advocacy, vol. 3, 141-159.

Rainer Eising (2007): “Institutional Context, Organizational Resources and Strategic Choices: Explaining Interest Group Access in the European Union” in European Union Politics, vol. 8, issue 3, pp 329-362.

Frank R. Baumgartner and Beth L. Leech (2003) “Interest Niches and Policy Bandwagons: Patterns of Interest Group Involvement in National Politics” in Journal of Politics, vol. 63, issue 4, pp 1191-1213.

Ernesto Dal Bo (2006): "Regulatory Capture: A Review" in Oxford Review of Economic Policy, vol. 22, issue 2, pp. 203-225.

Jan Beyers and Caelesta Braun (2013): "Ties that count: explaining interest group access to policymakers" in Journal of Public policy, vol. 34, issue 1, pp. 93-121.

Anne Therese Gullberg (2008): "Lobbying Friends and Foes in Climate Policy: The Case of Business and Environmental Interest Groups in the European Union" in Energy Policy, vol. 36, issue 8, pp. 2964-2972.

Amy McKay (2012): "Negative lobbying and Policy Outcomes" in American Politics Research, vol. 40, issue 1, pp. 116-146.

John Constantelos (2010): "Playing the Field: Federalism and the Politics of Venue Shopping in the United States and Canada" in Publius, vol. 40, issue 3, pp. 460-483.

David Marshall (2010): "Who to Lobby and When: Institutional Determinants of Interest Group Strategies in European Parliament Committees" in European Union Politics, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 553-575.

Vivien A. Schmidt (2013): "Democracy and legitimacy in the European Union revisited: Input, output and 'throughput' in Political Studies, vol. 61, no. 1, pp 2-22.

Nauro F. Campos and Francesco Giovannoni (2006): "Lobbying, corruption and political influence" in Public Choice, vol. 131, no. 1-2, pp 1-21.

Martin J. Smith (1990): "Pluralism, Reformed Pluralism and Neopluralism: The role of pressure groups in policy-making" in Political Studies, vol. 38, pp 302-322.

Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page (2014): "Testing theories of American politics: Elites, interest groups, and average citizens" in Perspectives on Politics, vol. 12, no. 3, pp 564-581.

Sarah Chartock (2013): “’Corporatism with Adjectives’? Conceptualizing Civil Society Incorporation and Indigenous Partipication in Latin America” in Latin American Politics and Society, vol. 55, issue 2, pp. 52-76.

Colin Crouch (1983): "Pluralism and the new Corporatism: A rejoinder" in Political Studies, vol. 31, no. 3, pp 452-460.

Arend Lijphart and Markus M. L. Crepaz (1991): "Corporatism and consensus democracy in eighteen countries: Conceptual and empirical linkages" in British Journal of Political Science, vol. 21, no. 2, pp 235-246.

Conor McGrath (2008): “The development and regulation of lobbying in the new member states of the European Union” in Journal of Public Affairs, vol. 8, Issue 1-2

H. Gordon Skilling (1983): "Interest Groups and Communist Politics Revisited" in World Politics, vol. 36, no. 1, pp 1-27.

Lise Rakner (2001): "The pluralist paradox: The decline of economic interest groups in Zambia in the 1990s" in Development and Change, vol. 32, no. 3, pp 521-543.

Christine Mahoney (2007): "Networking vs. allying: The decision of interest groups to join coalitions in the US and the EU" in Journal of European Public Policy, vol. 14, no. 3, pp 366-383.

Helen Yanacopulos (2005): "The strategies that bind: NGO coalitions and their influence" in Global Networks, vol. 5, no. 1, pp 93-110.

Clair Gough and Simon Shackley (2002): "The respectable politics of  climate change: The epistemic communities and NGOs" in International Affairs, vol. 77, no. 2, pp 329-345.

Vineeta Yidav (2008): “Business lobbies and policymaking in developing countries: The contrasting cases of India and China” in Journal of Public Affairs, vol. 8, Issue 1-2, pp. 67-82.

Lars Udéhn (1993): "Twenty-five years with the logic of collective action" in Acta Sociologica, vol. 36, no. 3, pp 239-261.

Andreas Broscheid and David Coen (2003): "Insider and Outsider Lobbying of the European Commission: An Informational Model of Forum Politics" in European Union Politics, vol. 4, no. 2, pp 165-189.

Timothy Frye (2002): “Capture or Exchange? Business Lobbying in Russia” in Europe-Asia Studies, vol. 54, issue 7, pp. 1017-1036.

Seong-Jin Choi, Nan Jia and Jiangyong Lu (2015): “The Structure of Political Institutions and Effectiveness of Corporate Political Lobbying” in Organizational Science, TBA.

David Lowery (2013): "Lobbying influence: Meaning, measurement and missing" in Interest Groups and Advocacy, vol. 2, pp 1-26.

Ulrike Schaede (1995): "The 'old boy' network and government-business relationships in Japan" in Journal of Japanese Studies, vol. 21, no. 2, pp 193-317.

Patrick J. Haney and Walt Vanderbush (1999): "The role of ethnic groups in U.S. foreign policy: The case of the Cuban American National Foundation" in International Studies Quarterly, vol. 43, no. 2, pp 341-361.

David Lowery (2007): "Why do organized interests lobby? A multi-goal, multi-context theory of lobbying" in Polity, vol. 39, no. 1, pp 29-54.


An understanding of the comparative method and an interest in interest group politics.
This course will consist of a combination of lectures, mock debates, student presentations and discussions, and possibly talks by guest lecturers
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Course Preparation
  • 97
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Exam Preparation
  • 30
  • Exercises
  • 25
  • Lectures
  • 25
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assesment
  • Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings
  • Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings
  • Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner