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Über dieses Buch

This book analyses interest group communication strategies in parliamentary political systems, and considers how political uncertainty, which emerges from the political process, shapes interest group communication strategies. It develops a formal model of lobbying in a bicameral legislature with strong party discipline, and discusses why interest groups choose public or private communication channels to influence political bargaining. The book tests its hypothesis in different policy contexts, including lobbying on major legislation in the field of labour and social policy.



Chapter 1. Introduction

The introduction defines the research question why interest groups choose a particular communication strategy. I discuss why a new approach to the question is necessary, highlighting the need for a strategic approach. The research design is sketched. I discuss how a tight combination of a formal model and a rigorous empirical analysis helps to shed new light on an old question.
Sebastian Koehler

Chapter 2. Fundamental Uncertainty: The Demand for Information and Interest Group Activities

In this chapter, I discuss the approaches to understand interest groups strategies. I show that both theoretically and empirically one of the major factors for lobbying is the demand for information. It is created by the fact that decision-makers decide in uncertain situations. Empirical evidence demonstrates that the provision of information is one of the main activities of interest groups.
Sebastian Koehler

Chapter 3. Process Uncertainty: Political Decision-Making

In this chapter, I discuss approaches to understand political bargaining. I show that bargaining implies a conflict of interest which creates uncertainty over the expected policy outcome. I discuss how the political process in Germany is structured and show that process uncertainty depends on the type of political process. This uncertainty is consequential for interest group activities.
Sebastian Koehler

Chapter 4. Modeling Interest Group Communication Strategies

In this chapter, I combine the insights from the literatures on lobbying and bargaining into a formal model of interest group activities. I distinguish public and private communication as classes of structurally equivalent lobbying activities. I show that the bargaining environment constrains lobbying activities. I demonstrate theoretically that the decision to send private messages depends on the ideological distance to the constraining chamber, while the decision to engage in public communication rests on the distance to the expected policy outcome.
Sebastian Koehler

Chapter 5. Data and Operationalization

In this chapter, I discuss the data and the main variables. These include the measurement of preferences of interest groups and political decision-makers. Based on those, distance measures are developed. Lobbying costs and several control variables are operationalized.
Sebastian Koehler

Chapter 6. Interest Group Communication Strategies

In this chapter, I test the formal model empirically. I analyze the decision to mobilize and the decision to send public or private messages. I can demonstrate that the decision to send public messages depends on the distance to the expected policy outcome, while the decision to send private messages depends on the distance to the constraining actor. This is based on an identification strategy which uses the fact that the German political system functions as if the relevant decision-makers are exogenously assigned to issues based on the constitution.
Sebastian Koehler

Chapter 7. Conclusions

In this chapter, I revisit the research question. I discuss the empirical and theoretical approach of the book. I conclude that interest group activities can be classified into equivalence classes. The choice of strategies can be explained by the distance to the constraining political actor (private communication) or the expected policy outcome (public communication). These effects are still valid when controlling for group type, which has been one of the main explanatory factors for strategy choice. I demonstrate that it is necessary to think beyond group type.
Sebastian Koehler


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