Lobbyists and Bureaucrats in Brussels: Capitalism’s Brokers, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Lobbyists and Bureaucrats in Brussels

Capitalism’s Brokers, 1st Edition

By Sylvain Laurens


224 pages | 14 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138289277
pub: 2017-09-14
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315267258
pub: 2017-09-18
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With over 30,000 lobbyists in town, Brussels is often called the European capital of lobbying. Despite this, little is known on how this political system works in practice.

This book offers an unprecedented window into the everyday relationships between bureaucrats and interest representatives. Where the media only shows lobbyists as they meet MEPs and submit amendments, the book argues that the bulk of their work is done in close contact with EU bureaucrats – a form of ‘quiet politics’ developed by the business community, targeting officials with little public exposure. Based on official archives, the book first sets the historical picture for the emergence of a new layer of bureaucrats; fuelled by European and transatlantic capitalism, it altered the political façade of the business community to fulfil its need for legitimacy. Drawing from observations of internal meetings of the main lobbies operating in Brussels and interviews with lobbyists and Commission officials, the book then shows lobbyists at work.

This text will be of key interest to scholars, students and practitioners of the European Union, interest groups, and more broadly to political science and sociology.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Beyond Media Portrayals of Lobbying

1. Entanglement: A New Administration in Search of Economic Interlocutors (1958-1980)

2. 1970–010: How Brussels Became Crucial to the Private Sector

3. Lobbying: Harnessing Bureaucratic Resources as a Weapon for Business

4. Routine Lobbying: The Personal Appropriation of Administrative Knowledge

5. Containing the Political and Depoliticisation: Behind the Closed Doors of the Administration

6. Serving the Scientific Standardisation of Markets: The Technical Extension of Commercial Wars

7. Expertise in the Service of Business: Lobbying and the European Chemicals Agency


About the Author

Sylvain Laurens is a Maître de Conférences (senior lecturer) at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, France, where he hosts a seminar series on the ‘Sociology of Elites’.

About the Series

Critical European Studies

European Studies as a field of academic inquiry is often conflated with European Union Studies. The result is that many significant trends, processes, and events pertaining to Europe as a whole are not given adequate critical analysis. The Critical European Studies Series aims at filling this gap. Critical European Studies will have a strong grounding in many fields of research in its effort to introduce critical analyses to the study of Europe and the EU that shall be rooted in a broad spectrum of theoretical perspectives. Approaches based upon historiographical, sociological, linguistic, anthropological, post-colonial, ethnographic, philosophical, post-structuralist, feminist, etc. perspectives are particularly welcome, since these frameworks only receive sporadic attention. Without putting into question the value of specific policy approaches, although individual studies in the series might undertake this task, the Critical European Studies book series attempts to bring together alternative approaches to critical analyses of European politics (including European Union politics), while overcoming disciplinary borders and paradigms. Behind this scholarly enterprise stands an enthusiastic embrace of the project and accomplishments of the European Union, but we perceive the EU and European Union Studies in need to consider many different critical correctives of its political ideas and ideals.

The series is edited by Yannis Stivachtis, Virginia Tech.

Editorial Board

József BOROCZ (Rutgers University, USA) Thomas DIEZ (University of Tuebingen, Germany) Annica KRONSELL (Lund University, Sweden) Timothy W. LUKE (Virginia Tech, USA) Ian MANNERS (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) William OUTHWAITE (Newcastle University, UK) Robert PHILLIPSON (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark) Jo SHAW (University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) Gerard TOAL (Virginia Tech, USA) Nathalie TOCCI (Istituto Affari Internazionali, Rome, Italy) Wilhelm VOSSE (Christian International University, Tokyo, Japan) Mark WEBBER (University of Birmingham, UK) Richard G. WHITMAN (University of Kent, UK) Antje WIENER (University of Hamburg, Germany) Michael WINTLE (University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands) Nikolaos ZAHARIADIS (University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA) Jan ZIELONKA (University of Oxford, UK).

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