Lobbying

The dark side of politics

Author: Wyn Grant

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.

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