Representation beyond people: Lobbying access of umbrella associations to legislatures and the media

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Lobbying access to policy discussions determines how political interests are voiced and potentially exert influence. This article addresses whether access to the national legislature and the media favors umbrella organizations, which represent interests of their member groups. It theorizes that the role of umbrellas goes beyond signaling a large individual membership or constituency of people, but that umbrellas are distinct in transmitting interests from other organizations. This function is expected to be valuable in exchanges with legislators who seek efficiency, input legitimacy, and policy implementation, but less valuable in the media arena. Using a new data set on lobbying by 286 groups on 12 issues in the United Kingdom and Germany, the article serves support for this theory: Umbrellas enjoy higher legislative access, but lower media access than groups without member organizations, irrespective of their individual membership or claimed constituency. The findings have implications for how we understand and study political representation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGovernance: An international journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions
Volume32
Pages (from-to)313
Number of pages330
ISSN0952-1895
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ID: 211808525