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Influence, information and lobbying in the European Union: A comparison of business sector strategies.

Bowen, Gillian Sian (1997) Influence, information and lobbying in the European Union: A comparison of business sector strategies. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The development of European Union political institutions and scope of policy-making has resulted in fundamental changes in the political and economic environment within which UK firms operate. Since 1986 in particular, the response to these developments has been a noted increase in business lobbying activity directed towards 'Brussels'. A dense network of interests has formed around key EU institutions. This includes some companies which have chosen to locate a permanent company representative in Brussels. Firms have a variety of strategies they can adopt for representation, both individual and collective, in addition to existing, established, national routes for exerting influence on EU institutions and policies. The thesis is about why companies choose particular strategies, and the political and economic factors which may help determine that choice. It maintains that information plays a key role in the creation of opportunities for influence, and in the choice of influence strategies. Chapter 2 explores theoretical contributions on influence behaviour and lobbying activity. Chapters 3 & 4 review the development of the EU. It shows that the complexity and uncertainty of its institutions and decision-making processes generate substantial information needs on the part of policy-makers. This in turn creates a high level of opportunity for business interests to exert influence. Following a brief outline of the approach to the empirical work contained in chapter 5, chapters 6 & 7 examine business response to these opportunities across two industries. Two contrasting sectors are analysed, Road Freight and Pharmaceuticals. These show that business response to such opportunities can vary significantly both at firm and at sectoral level. It links responses to the costs and benefits associated with various strategies, which in turn relate to key firm and sector characteristics. The most important of these are; firm size, transnational operations and sector concentration. Chapter 8 brings together the findings from both empirical work and earlier theoretical contributions and assesses the similarities and differences between the Road Freight and Pharmaceutical sectors in terms of both firm and sector characteristics, and influence strategies focused on EU institutions and policy-making.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Public and Social Welfare, Business Administration, Management
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Management

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