An Occupational Field between Professionalism and Activism
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Lobbying is an integral part of the political reality of the European Union and a highly competitive and dynamic field of interest groups. This book takes a systematic look at lobbyists in order to broaden our understanding of the staff entrusted with the responsibility of influencing European politics. Who are the European lobbyists? What are their professional backgrounds, career patterns, practices and beliefs? The study uses a sociological framework to explore the professionalisation and professionalism of the field across national proveniences, policy fields and interest groups, and develops a systematic analysis that considers three different dimensions: occupational patterns, shared knowledge and common convictions . Based on original research that combines in-depth interviews with survey data, European Lobbying demonstrates that European lobbying is a firmly established and highly professionalised métier. In an organisational field characterised by growth, pluralisation and increasing competition, the professional staff contributes to the homogenisation of European lobbying and the marginalisation of other, non-professionalised forms of interest representation. It will therefore appeal to scholars and students of sociology and politics with interest in European studies, EU politics and the sociology of the professions.
Table of Contents
2 Lobbyists in the crosshairs of research: evidence, assumptions and data
3 The genesis of the field of work: Internal views
4 The lobbying staff: structures, profiles, self-images
5 The occupationalisation of lobbying: the constitution of a specialised labour market
6 The professionalisation of lobbying: the constitution of specialised knowledge
7 The legitimacy of European lobbying: divisions and conflicts of a political field
8 European lobbying: findings and implications
Christian Lahusen is Professor of Sociology at the University of Siegen, Germany. He is the author of Political Attitudes of Divided European Citizens and the co-author of Solidarity in the Media and Public Contention over Refugees in Europe and Young People and Long-Term Unemployment.