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Chapter 8 Is the EU different? (Book chapter)

Authors: --- ---
Book Series: West European Politics ISBN: 9781138614741 Year: Pages: 24 Language: English
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Subject: Political Science
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-15 13:34:03
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Abstract

The European Union interest group population is often characterised as being
biased towards business and detached from its constituency base. Many scholars
attribute this to institutional factors unique to the EU. Yet, assessing whether or
not the EU is indeed unique in this regard requires a comparative research design.
We compare the EU interest group population with those in four member states:
France, Great Britain, Germany and the Netherlands. We diff erentiate system, policy
domain and organisational factors and examine their eff ects on interest group
diversity. Our results show that the EU interest system is not more biased towards
the representation of business interests than the other systems. Moreover, EU
interest organisations are not more detached from their constituents than those in
the studied countries. Everywhere, business interest associations seem to be better
capable of representing their members’ interests than civil society groups. These
fi ndings suggest that the EU is less of a sui generis system than commonly assumed
and imply the need for more fi ne-grained analyses of interest group diversity.

Keywords

EU --- level systems --- organisations --- diversity

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