Changes in interest group access in times of crisis: no pain, no (lobby) gain

Wiebke Marie Junk, Michele Crepaz, Marcel Hanegraaff, Joost Berkhout, Ellis Aizenberg

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Abstract

The outbreak of Covid-19 provoked a massive shock for political institutions and societal groups. A crucial question is how such an external event affects the balance of access to political gatekeepers. In particular: Are organizations, which are highly affected by the crisis, able to increase their political voice? To address this, we focus on changes in lobbying access to key venues of public policy: government, parliament, the bureaucracy, and the media across 10 European democracies. Based on novel survey data, we assess changes in access shortly after the outbreak of Covid-19. Our findings show that affectedness is an important driver of changes in access to all venues. We interpret this as good news for the functioning of European systems of interest representation, and the ability of gatekeepers to open their doors to affected groups. However, we also show that the effect of affectedness varies considerably for economic and non-economic interests.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Early online date30 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 30 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Public Administration
  • Sociology and Political Science

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