Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.585542
Title: Speak to me only with thine ayes? : the representativeness of professional EU advocacy groups
Author: Buth, Vanessa
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2012
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Abstract:
The European Commission, in an attempt to enhance its democratic decision-making, engages in an institutionalised dialogue with representative EU advocacy groups. However, one important strand of interest group scholars argues that as a result of recognition, groups professionalise and lose their representativeness. They argue that as a result the positions put forward by EU groups no longer represent the interests of their members and supporters, because these have no or little say in the formation of EU positions. It follows that the European Commission’s strategy is doomed. This thesis challenges the argument that EU advocacy groups necessarily lose their representativeness as they become professional. Such a position relies on overly narrow conceptions of representativeness and professionalisation, ignoring organisational differences. First, representation does not rely only on member participation. Second, the representative claims of advocacy groups also have to be accepted by members and supporters as representing their interests. Third, professionalisation is more than bureaucratisation and has to include the application of new media technology for the dimensions of representativeness. These insights suggest the claim that groups necessarily lose their representativeness as they become professional has to be qualified. Drawing on the analysis of documents and websites of five EU environmental groups and their member groups, as well as interviews conducted by the author, this thesis demonstrates the limitations of the existing literature. The findings show that the implications of professionalisation for representativeness vary according to organisational structures and strategies. The thesis also exemplifies how the new media can increase representativeness. Finally, it affords new insights into how advocacy groups contribute to democracy in the EU and beyond.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.585542  DOI: Not available
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