The term 'lobbying' derives from the particular location in which the activity supposedly takes place, the parliamentary or legislative lobby. In practice, most lobbying takes place elsewhere: in government offices, in restaurants or online. This book presents the arguments in favour of and against lobbying. It deals with the various types of lobbyists prevalent in Britain: insider groups, outsider groups, business lobbyists, and commercial lobbyists. The renewable energy industry and the alcohol industry are examples of associations engaging in business lobbying. The book examines how lobbying is carried out, how lobbyists frame or define a policy issue and challenge existing framings, the initative taken by governments to consult stakeholders, the role of social media in revolutionising lobbying, and the forming of advocacy coalitions. It considers three case studies of lobbying in action: the campaign to reduce sugar consumption, issues relating to fixed odds betting terminals, and the future of the Green Belt. The case for and against the regulation of lobbying is discussed next. The book 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. Electoral politics can still trump pressure politics.
SAMMY Finer ( 1966 : 145) concluded his classic study of lobbying by stating that ‘the lobbies become – as far as the general public is concerned – faceless, voiceless, unidentifiable; in brief, anonymous’. His final plea was for ‘Light! More light!’ Recent attempts to regulate lobbying have focused on securing transparency so that we know who is lobbying whom about what. ‘Lobbying is best done, is most effective, when no one is watching’ (Cave and Rowell, 2015 : 1).
It is widely accepted that ‘the work carried out by interest groups is a central and
OVER time the nature of lobbying in the UK has changed. At one time there were a number of tightly knit ‘policy communities’ made up of the executive branch of government (ministers and civil servants) and a small number of recognised lobbying organisations. A classic example was agriculture, where the NFU was given special status by the 1947 Agriculture Act. The subsidies paid to farmers were negotiated in a process known as the Annual Price Review. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) in effect acted as a spokesperson for farming interests
THIS chapter considers three case studies of lobbying in action: the campaign to reduce sugar consumption; issues relating to fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs); and the future of the Green Belt. Two of these cases relate to potential harm: in the case of sugar, to the population in general; in the case of fixed odds betting terminals, to a subset of those who gamble. The issue of the Green Belt relates to deeply held values in one section of the population.
An underlying theme of this chapter is the way in which issues are ‘framed’. This in turn relates to
MANY different terms are used to describe the exercise of influence on political decision-makers. The variety and range of language reflects the controversy that surrounds the activity. Is the act of lobbying, the attempt to exercise such influence, a perversion of the democratic process that promotes the interests of the rich and powerful at the expense of the less well-off and the public interest? Or is it simply an application of the principle of freedom of association that improves the democratic progress by enhancing the range and quality of information
THE composition of the universe of lobbying activity has changed considerably since the end of the Second World War. Lobbying is a centuries-old activity, but the greater engagement of the government in the economy after the war enhanced the importance of the producer organisations representing employers and labour. The creation of the National Health Service gave a new role to the British Medical Association (BMA), while the 1947 Agriculture Act made the National Farmers’ Union a formal partner with government. Politics in the earlier post-war period was
This book examines and compares lobbying regulations currently in place around the world. This edition covers more countries than the last, compares existing regulations using different measurements, and provides insights into developing or amending lobbying laws. The book begins by introducing the concept of lobbying regulation, emphasising it is a key aspect of sunshine laws that states throughout the world are establishing. Chapters 1–3 exhaustively examine jurisdictions worldwide that adopted regulations in the 1900s, 2000s and 2010s. Chapter 4 offers novel empirical investigation by investigating if some measurements of the robustness of lobbying laws are more valid and reliable than others, closing with a revamped theoretical conceptualisation of different types of regulatory regimes. Chapter 6, based on our experience of having advised governments worldwide, has a simple, yet significant, objective: to explain to policy makers how best to make or amend a lobbying law. The Conclusion summarises our findings. This book has two key readerships. The first is academics teaching courses on lobbying and regulatory politics and those researching in the field, given that the first edition was the considered a landmark. The second is the practitioner market. This includes legislators and civil servants who relied on the first edition when developing lobbying legislation and subsequently approached the authors to advise their governments. It also includes lobbyists who relied on the first edition in order to understand the rules in place in jurisdictions that they seek to influence globally.
In the first edition we argued that while this book finds a niche within the broader scholarship on interest groups, it offers an innovative approach to the literature. This is because the work is concerned with comparing how lobby groups are formally regulated throughout the world and the impact this has had – something previously largely unexamined. The 2010 edition thus built on previous scholarship on lobbying regulation in Canada, the United States (US), the European Union (EU) and Germany, offering an in-depth, detailed analysis of this
Getting to grips with lobbying:
Lobbying is an inescapable feature of modern democracy yet the term
is often used with negative connotations. To lobby is not necessarily to
exercise improper influence, and there is a strong case in a democracy for
tolerating lobbying unless it contravenes the law, for example through
outright bribery. But while the ability to advance political claims through
lobbying is considered an important democratic freedom, much of what
goes on, while not illegal, often looks
The main objective of this chapter is to offer insights on how to make a lobbying law, which may be of value to elected officials, civil servants, interest groups and concerned citizens in jurisdictions without lobbying regulations or in those considering amending extant regulations. The majority of contemporary democracies remain unregulated. Twenty EU member states have no lobbying regulations in place, rising to 21 when considering OECD members. Such a low number, however, should not erroneously be interpreted as low interest in lobbying laws. On