Behind success stories: goal attainment in global trade and climate negotiations

  • Kirsten LucasEmail author
Original Article


How successful are transnational advocates? If they are successful, is this due to their advocacy efforts or because of a favourable policy context? This paper examines the policy success of transnational advocates. In doing so, it focuses on the positions interest groups adopt, the strategies they develop, and how these interact with the context of specific policy issues. Based on 467 interviews with non-state actors who were involved in 17 transnational policy issues in the fields of international climate change and trade policy, I assess the success of individual advocates by comparing the final policy outcome of each issue with the advocated policy positions. The findings demonstrate that it is not so much the strategies that lobbyists develop that explain success at global diplomatic conferences, but rather the degree of preferred policy change and whether these demands for change are endorsed by the groups’ national governments.


Transnational advocacy Policy success Non-state actors International diplomatic conferences UNFCCC WTO 



Funding was provided by European Research Council (Grant No. 2013-CoG 616702-iBias).

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 34 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium

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