Wiebke Marie Junk defends her PhD thesis at the Department of Political Science – University of Copenhagen

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Wiebke Marie Junk defends her PhD thesis at the Department of Political Science

Wiebke Marie Junk Candidate

Wiebke Marie Junk

Title

"Greater than the sum of its parts? The effects of active cooperation on lobbying success". 
 
The thesis is available as an e-book via Academic books

Time and venue

Friday 26 October, 2018 at 14:00 at the University of Copenhagen, Centre for Health and Society, Department of Political Science, Øster Farimagsgade 5, DK-1353 Copenhagen K., room 4.2.26. Kindly note that the defence will start precisely at 14:00.

Assessment committee

  • Professor Peter Thisted Dinesen, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen (chair)
     
  • Professor Beth Leech, Political Science Department, Rutgers, USA
     
  • Professor Christine Mahoney, University of Virginia, USA

Abstract

Questions of power and influence are central to political science. One of these questions is whether and how non-state actors, such as business groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), affect policy decisions in modern democracies. This dissertation speaks to the potential power of interest groups by analysing lobbying success in five Western European countries, namely Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, on 50 diverse policy issues. Its contribution lies in providing theories and empirical evidence for the observation that lobbying is essentially a collaborative exercise. To understand how and when lobbyists succeed in reaching their policy goals we need to take into account how they actively cooperate with each other by sharing information, coordinating strategies, or uniting in formal coalitions or umbrella organisations.

Four research articles in the dissertation highlight four roles active cooperation plays in affecting lobbying success, namely as means to manage interdependence between actors, to redistribute resources among partners, to signal diverse support on important issues, and to secure access to policymakers. The dissertation shows that lobbying coalitions can help actors succeed. However, these effects do not hold across the board for all actors involved, all types of coalitions and on all issues. The benefits of active cooperation depend on the resources of the individual advocate, the diversity of the coalition, the salience of the issue, and the political venue lobbyists approach.

Importantly, the findings of the dissertation highlight that evaluating the effects of lobbying by individual actors will only give an incomplete picture of lobbying success and, by extension, the big questions of political power and influence.