The Interest Group as a Lobbying Enterprise

Date: 6 March 2019

Venue: UAntwerpen, Stadscampus, de Meerminne, M.105 - St-Jacobstraat 2 2000 Antwerp - 2000 Antwerp (route: UAntwerpen, Stadscampus)

Time: 1:00 PM

Organization / co-organization: ACTORE

Short description: Guest lecture by Prof Timothy LaPira (P.h.D) on the concept of the 'lobbying enterprise' to explain interest groups' incentives to hire conventional or revolving door lobbyist

About the lecture

How big is an interest group’s political footprint? In Revolving Door Lobbying, Timothy M. LaPira and Herschel F. Thomas introduce the concept of the “lobbying enterprise” to explain interest groups’ incentives to hire conventional or revolving door lobbyists. Although this research project has taught us a lot about individual lobbyists with experience in government (the revolving door lobbyists) and what they can mean for interest groups, we still do not know much about how the organized interest's enterprise employ human resources and organizational affiliations to produce influence. In this lecture,

LaPira will expand on the theory of the lobbying enterprise itself to lay the groundwork for a new research agenda in interest group politics. The lobbying enterprise is more than simply the “interest organization,” but the full set of political resource “footprint” that organizations use to influence policy. That is, an organized interest’s enterprise includes its full roster of internal and external human resources (e.g., in-house lobbyists, contract lobbyists, political consultants, public relations advisers, regulatory lawyers) and its full set of formal and informal organizational affiliations (e.g., lobbying and law firm contracts, formal and informal lobbying coalition affiliations, relationships with policymakers inside government, trade and business association memberships, party-affiliated groups).

The lobbying enterprise promises to be not only a more realistic perspective on how interests mobilize resources for influence, but also a more generalizable unit of analysis across geographic (e.g., supranational, national, regional), legal- constitutional (e.g., presidential, parliamentary, intergovernmental), and deliberative (e.g., pluralist, collaborative, corporatist) political contexts.