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

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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
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1374-1394.
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

    Research areas

  • Covid-19, focusing events, interest groups, interest representation, lobbying access, NGOs

ID: 279761513