Interest Groups & Advocacy

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 165–183 | Cite as

Technocratic or democratic interest representation? How different types of information affect lobbying success

  • Linda FlötheEmail author
Original Article


What type of information helps interest advocates get their way? While it is widely acknowledged in the academic literature that information provision is a key aspect of lobbying, few scholars have directly tested the effect of information on lobbying success. Policymakers need information both on technical aspects and public preferences to anticipate the effectiveness of a policy proposal and electoral consequences. However, scholars have found that interest groups predominantly provide the former rather than the latter, which suggests that technical information is seen as more efficient. The paper argues that lobbying success is not solely a function of the provision of any information but of the specific type of information and its composition. It furthermore argues that the relevance of different information types for lobbying success depends on issue characteristics such as public opinion, salience or complexity. Relying on new original data of advocacy activity on 50 specific policy issues in five West European countries, the paper highlights that the provision of expert information increases the likelihood of lobbying success, while the effect of information about public preferences is, if anything, negative. The study ultimately contributes to our understanding of informational lobbying, interest representation and interest group influence.


Interest groups Information Public opinion Lobbying Representation 



Funding was provided by Det Frie Forskningsråd (DK) (Grant No. Sapere Aude Grant/0602-02642B) and Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (Grant No. VIDI Grant/452-12-008). The author would like to thank Anne Rasmussen, Wiebke Marie Junk and Jeroen Romeijn for their valuable advice and support. She would also like to thank Adrià Albareda, Ellis Aizenberg, Iskander de Bruycker, Marcel Hanegraaff, Moritz Müller, Patrick Statsch. The manuscript also benefitted from comments received at the ECPR General conference 2018, Hamburg as well as the NIG conference 2018, Den Haag. Finally, the author wishes to thank several GovLis student assistants for their contributions to the data collection.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 575 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leiden UniversityDen HaagThe Netherlands

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