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Title: Evaluating lobbying in the United Kingdom : moving from a corruption framework to 'institutional diversion'
Author: Solaiman, Barry
ISNI:       0000 0004 7224 9083
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2017
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The lobbying of Parliament and the Government in the United Kingdom by wealthy or influential groups and individuals raises concerns about corruption and political equality. Professional lobbying is available mainly to those with significant resources and is often the most effective means of influencing decision-makers. Unchecked, it corrodes public trust in core public institutions. This thesis argues that the problems attending the lobbying of Parliament and Government in the UK need to be identified and understood more clearly so that targeted regulatory solutions can be determined. Currently, lawmakers, organisations and academics have struggled to propose clear pathways for identifying the main issues and understanding them. This is due to a failure to agree on the nature and scope of the central problems associated with lobbying, the relationship between them, and how they are relevant to the model of democratic government in the UK. To overcome this, an analytical framework called ‘institutional diversion’ is developed, tested and evaluated. The framework is developed from institutional corruption literature in the United States and is divided into three parts. Part 1 provides elements which help to identify specific lobbying concerns and provide a rich account of the underlying issues. Part 2 articulates a test to determine whether the identified problem in Part 1 causes a diversion from the purpose of the relevant public institution. It is argued that the critical purpose of decision-makers in Parliament and the Government is to ‘act in the public interest’ and that a diversion from that purpose can be tested using the two criteria of ‘integrity’ and ‘objectivity’. Further, it is not sufficient for a framework to simply identify and help to understand the concerns with lobbying. The logical next step is to identify solutions, and that process must also be rationally guided. Therefore, guidelines are developed from an analysis of an interview with the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists in the UK conducted specifically for this thesis. The guidelines are intended to help future reform analyses by highlighting the practical and political restrictions within which solutions must be developed otherwise they will be unlikely to succeed.
Supervisor: Howarth, David ; Palmer, Stephanie Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Political Corruption ; Lobbying ; United Kingdom ; Institutional Corruption ; Corruption ; Parliament ; Government ; Ministers ; Members of Parliament ; Peers ; Pressure Groups ; Influence ; Political Equality