Direct and Intermediated Lobbying in the European Union

Andreas Grimstrup Ragn & Troels Steen Tvergaard

Student thesis: Master thesis


Lobbying is an integral part of the European Union’s decision-making procedures, but little is understood within academia with regards to the decision between lobbying directly or through interest groups. To develop an in-depth understanding of this strategic challenge, this thesis performs a comprehensive analysis of a firm’s decision-making. In doing so, this thesis seeks to uncover the underlying causal relationships that influences the choice of lobbying mode. This thesis builds on a deductive research approach, employing different research methods and approaches such as process tracing and intensive case study. Through a substantial review of academic literature on lobbying within several major research disciplines, developing nine distinct theoretical lenses through which firm’s lobbying activities can be perceived. We then distil the lenses into six specific causes for why a firm might choose to engage in either lobbying mode, before moving to empirically test the robustness of the theoretical causes through a EU lobbying intensive case study. Finally, we aggregate the theoretical and empirical findings in a causal model of lobbying behavior. We find that issue specificity, issue importance, differences in political capabilities, institutional demand, institutional isomorphic pressures, and agency problems determine firm’s choice of lobbying mode. The findings contribute to a gap in the literature on lobbying in the interplay of firms and interest groups.

EducationsMSc in International Business and Politics, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages113
SupervisorsLeonard Seabrooke