Knowledge as Power: The Influence of Norwegian Corporate Interests on Political Processes

Tarald Torvik Fidjeland & Christoffer Røstad

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis is an investigation on lobbying in Norway. More precisely we will try to understand how corporate lobbying affected the development of two parliamentary white papers in Norway. Further, the thesis will elaborate on strategies and ways of lobbying. The lack of transparency around lobbying in Norway has motivated the development of our thesis. The concept of lobbying has not previously been thoroughly researched in Norway, and it is therefore intriguing to investigate this concept. Adopting the theoretical framework of Pierre Bourdieu has allowed us to identify and discuss strategies applied when lobbying towards the parliamentary white papers. Bourdieu utilizes a broad conceptual framework, which we applied to conduct a field analysis based on his work. The use of Bourdieu´s theoretical framework and our field analysis has allowed us to create an understanding of how lobbying is applied by corporate interests to influence parliamentary white papers. The phenomenon was investigated through both a document analysis, and through qualitative interviews with influential people in the development of parliamentary white papers in Norway. The document analysis laid the groundwork for our interviews and allowed us to sharpen the data collection. The interviews showed there are some particular differences around their lobbying, especially regarding the two sectors strategies and outcome. Our analysis points at the differences between the IT sector and the industrial sector: While the industry highlighted it’s role in the welfare state, the IT sector is not capable of doing so. Also, the industry use their history as a an advantage, while it seems to be an obstacle for the IT-sector. The strategies implemented while lobbying seems to resemble each other, but with different results. Overall the industry seems to be more successful in lobbying and influencing the white papers. This thesis contributes with new insights on lobbying in Norway. It has a critical perspective on lobbying regarding the white papers and allows us to show how lobbying is rapidly changing and evolving. In the discussion part of the thesis, we provide the respective industries with recommendations aiming to increase influence on parliamentary white papers.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages124
SupervisorsEmil Husted