German MPs and interest groups in EU multilevel policy-making: the politics of information exchange

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Series Details Vol.40, No.5, September 2017, p1004-1024
Publication Date September 2017
ISSN 0140-2382
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West European Politics (WEP) covers political and social issues in Western Europe. It has a substantial reviews section and coverage of all national elections in Western Europe.

Its comprehensive scope, embracing all the major political and social developments in all West European countries, including the European Union, makes it important reading for both political practitioners and academics.This article forms part of a special issue: Multilevel Interest Representation in the European Union: The Role of National Interest Organisations


Policy-makers regularly interact with interest groups to exchange information. This provides, it is often argued, the former with input needed to formulate effective policies and the latter with political influence. This article shares this broad perspective.

In contrast to large parts of the literature, however, the paper argues for a political perspective on information exchanges between parliamentarians and interest groups. This perspective builds on party politicians’ ideological positions to explain the scope of parliamentarians’ information exchanges with different types of interest groups.

In order to move away from the idea that information is a scarce resource for parliamentarians their interactions with interest groups are put in the context of their intra-party information exchanges. The empirical analysis of original survey data of members of the German Bundestag broadly confirms the article’s main arguments.

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