Exceptional agency: Political brokerage in EU lobbying
Christopoulos, D. (2010) Exceptional agency: Political brokerage in EU lobbying. Working Paper. University of the West of England, Bristol.
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Interest intermediation is integral to the consultation process of most EU legislative acts. On occasion, the agenda is not set by the most prominent political actors but by peripheral political entrepreneurs, exploiting opportunities to exercise brokerage. Attribute based case studies of the exchanges among such actors are deficient for failing to account for the relational dimension of their interaction. Focusing on their networks, we examine actor behaviour at the earlier stages of policy making. Network centrality serves as a proxy that distinguishes insider and peripheral actors. The shift in roles through time is associated to their shifting brokerage roles. A case study of agenda setting in the EU provides the background for exploring how these actors behaviour changes over time. The network examined is the intermediation network of actors in the first stages of the Charleroi/Ryanair decision within the EU and the successful introduction of an issue dimension, namely the ‘regional dimension of air connectivity’ in the EU policy agenda. Relations between twenty-four actors are explored, while network evolution is compared over the period February to June 2004.
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