British Business and Public Policy: the Informational and Structural Determinants of Political Influence, 2007-2009



Alternative title: British Lobbying Dataset
Study number (SN): 6651

Do organised interests in British society influence policy making in Westminster and Holyrood? Which strategies work and which do not? Are firms and business associations more successful than other groups in getting politicians to enact policies they like?

To answer these questions, this study elaborates and applies a theoretical model to predict the circumstances in which interest groups can wield political influence through lobbying. To examine this model, data were gathered on the political activities and positions of different interest groups and on the factors affecting the success or failure of their lobbying. For this, a dataset of 163 policy proposals made by United Kingdom (UK) governments between 2001 and 2007 has been compiled. An internet survey of lobbyists was used to collect data on each proposal's expected costs and benefits from the perspective of the different actors, the costs and effort expended on lobbying, and levels of credibility and trust characterising the relationship between interest groups and policymakers.

Through the examination of the informational and structural factors of special interest politics across a range of policy areas, the project aims to contribute to a better understanding of the policy process as well as of the political influence of organised groups in British politics.

Further information is available from the University of Aberdeen project web page and the British Business and Public Policy: The Informational and Structural Determinants of Political Influence ESRC Award web page. These data are under embargo at the request of the depositor until 1 October 2011.

Main Topics:
The study includes one dataset with responses from the following two data collection activities:
an electronic search of newspaper archives to compile a list of policy proposals
an internet survey of lobbyists (firms and business associations, citizen groups, labour unions and think tanks) identified in the previous step. Respondents were asked about their policy positions, the actions - if any - they took to influence the policy process, and their assessments of the popularity, significance, and likely effects of the policy proposal. Respondents were also asked about their relationship to policymakers

Standard measures:
Likert-style ordinal scales

Copyright University of Aberdeen
Date made available26 Apr 2011
PublisherUK Data Service
Date of data production1 Jun 2007 - 31 Aug 2007

Funder and Grant Reference number

  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • RES-000-22-2428

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