Lobbyists have a negative reputation, but their influence increases. At the same time, the legitimacy of current democratic systems is being questioned. This thesis investigates whether lobbying harms the ideal of equality. It concerns lobbyists in all modern democracies, but is mainly focussed on corporate lobbies in The Hague, Brussels and Washington. The institution of lobbying will be assessed by the application of complex proceduralism. This method, developed by Charles Beitz, is based on a social contract to warrant equal respect. The thesis consists of six sections. Section one gives an introduction to lobbying. Thereafter, in section two, various theories of political equality will be discussed. The reasons for rejecting the theories of best results, of popular will, and of equal procedures underlie complex proceduralism, which is described in section three. This method contains three central categories of values: recognition, equitable treatment and deliberative responsibility. In section four, complex proceduralism will be applied to the institution of lobbying. I conclude that it is reasonable to object to lobbying, but that in the foreseeable term there is no better alternative. Therefore I give recommendations to make the practice fairer in section five. In Appendix I, I reflect upon the limitations of my analysis.
Abstract: Whether and what type of the lobbying-induced trade policies can improve the domestic welfare? We show that as compared to the case of no lobbying and the case of domestic lobbying, the domestic-foreign lobbying achieves the lowest tariff and may also realize the highest welfare for the domestic country. Our results suggest that the domestic-foreign lobbying may contribute to a freer trade in the domestic country, and lobbying competition may be one of the strongest forces pushing for trade liberalization.
Do interest groups strategically select lobbying tactics in response to the legislative context of policies they wish to influence? As rational actors, interest groups should be keen to spend their resources wisely by responding strategically to legislative contexts. This research suggests a theoretical and empirical framework and attempts to explain variations in interest group behavior at the policy level. The empirical design associates direct and indirect interest group lobbying activities with specific policies and tests the hypothesis that interest groups use legislative context as a part of their decision calculus when considering how to lobby Congress. I find that measures of legislative context are important components of models of direct and indirect lobbying. [Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications Inc., copyright 2007.]