The Determinants of Direct Corporate Lobbying in the European Union

Patrick Bernhagen, Neil J Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


Whereas research on corporate lobbying in the USA has produced a set of robust findings, less is known about the determinants of business political action in other policy arenas and beyond the nation-state. In particular, we do not know how well the standard profit-seeking model of firm political activity travels. The article examines this issue with an analysis of business lobbying in the EU that reflects tactical adaptation to lobbying at the supranational level. Using data on 2000 large companies, we show that a modified profit-seeking model of corporate political behaviour is generalizable to corporate lobbying in Brussels. By contrast, theories emphasizing nationally distinct types of interest intermediation find little support in the data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-176
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Union Politics
Issue number2
Early online date15 May 2009
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


  • business interests
  • corporatism
  • large firms
  • lobbying
  • transnational corporations
  • political activity
  • market-structure
  • interests
  • business
  • state
  • firm


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