Japanese automobile lobbying in Brussels : the role of the Japanese motor car industry in EU policy networks
This study examines the lobbying by the Japanese automobile industry in the European Union. It investigates how the Japanese automobile industry interacts with the decision-making authorities in Brussels in its attempts to influence the policy process of the European Union. In the post-war period the Japanese automobile industry has expanded into all major world markets and plays an important economic and political role in these. However, until the 1990s, the Japanese automobile industry enjoyed hardly any interaction with the policy making institutions of the European Union. This has changed dramatically in the last decade but, thus far, the process has not been subject to any empirical investigation. This study, which is largely based upon interviews with the major actors in the process of interaction between the governing institutions and the automobile industry in the EU, aims to correct this deficiency. This thesis employed the policy network concept as a framework to develop an understanding of this particular case of government-interest group interaction. The thesis investigated whether the Western concept of policy networks could successfully be applied to the Japanese automobile industry as a non-western actor in the unique system of governance of the EU. By doing so, the thesis has demonstrated that the policy network concept is not a purely Western construct, but can be applied with equal validity to the case of Japan. Therefore, this thesis has taken an importani. a step towards proving the universal applicability of the policy network concept.