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Explaining Convergence and Variations in EU Lobbying

Beate Kohler-Koch, Christine Quittkat

The paper is a first report on a comparative large-N research project on interest groups in the EU. We expand the conventional resource dependence model byinvestigating the mutual dependence of members, associations, and EU-institutions. The core hypothesis is that associations have to pay tribute both to the 'the logic ofmembership' and to the 'logic of influence'. National associations (the survey covers the four big EU member states Germany, France, Poland, and the United Kingdom)have to cope with two distinct institutional environments and growing competition due to enlargement and due to continuously increasing direct firm lobbying. The paperreflects the adaptive potential of associations across different issue areas and across time. Further, it considers the particularly challenging task of conceptualizingresource dependence when comparing business interest associations (BIA) and non-governmental organisations (NGO). Finally, the paper addresses the problemsentailed in diachronic survey research which has to consider changes in context conditions while keeping the questionnaire as constant as possible.

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