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Corporate political strategizing in the European Union during the 2007 – 10 recession : an exploratory study

Barron, A. and Hulten, P. (2011) Corporate political strategizing in the European Union during the 2007 – 10 recession : an exploratory study. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 29 (5). 783 – 801. ISSN 1472-3425

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Abstract

Using original data collected from a survey of Brussels-based Government Affairs Managers (GAMs) in May and June 2010, we explore the political actions of firms in the European Union during the 2007 – 10 financial crisis. Findings suggest that the financial constraints imposed by the crisis had a significant impact on whether GAMs entered into short-term or long-term relationships with policy makers and whether they engaged in individual or collective action. Significant cross-country differences were also observed between the political objectives pursued by firms, their propensity to engage in collective political action, and the tactics they use to influence policy makers. Taken together, these findings challenge institutional explanations of EU lobbying, which suggest that the EU system of policy making provides powerful incentives for firms to adopt specific lobbying behaviours in order to gain a seat at the EU policy-making table.