Regulating lobbying
in Lobbying
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Attempts to regulate lobbying have focused on securing transparency so that we know who is lobbying whom about what. This chapter presents the case for and against regulation of lobbying. The case for the regulation of lobbyists is simple enough: it promotes transparency and accountability, and hence strengthens democracy. However, it has also been suggested that increased transparency is not necessarily desirable and that 'in order to formulate "good policy", confidential negotiations are sometimes necessary'. The chapter looks at the UK system of regulating lobbying and the regulation prevalent in the European Union. It also examines the issue of whether the democratic process gets unduly distorted by lobbying. Politicians and civil servants may have half an eye on the future career opportunities offered by lobbying organisations as they enter a lightly regulated revolving door between government and the private sector.


The dark side of politics


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