The INTEREURO project was funded by the European Science Foundation. To a large extent, the efforts of the INTEREURO team were directed to building the large, integrated dataset on lobbying in the EU. An overview of all the data-collection projects as well as the overall methodological and theoretical underpinnings has been published in a special issue of Interest Groups & Advocacy. In the last part of the INTEREURO-project we surveyed the entire European interest community. For this purpose, we tested and fine-tuned a web-based questionnaire. More than 2000 organizational representatives were invited to take part in the survey. For more info: http://www.intereuro.eu. For the INTEREURO data, click here. For more info: http://www.intereuro.eu
The INTEREURO project was funded by the European Science Foundation. To a large extent, the efforts of the INTEREURO team were directed to building the large, integrated dataset on lobbying in the EU. An overview of all the data-collection projects as well as the overall methodological and theoretical underpinnings has been published in a special issue of Interest Groups & Advocacy. In the last part of the INTEREURO-project we surveyed the entire European interest community. For this purpose, we tested and fine-tuned a web-based questionnaire. More than 2000 organizational representatives were invited to take part in the survey. For more info: http://www.intereuro.eu.
For the INTEREURO data, click here.
For more info: http://www.intereuro.eu
The Belgian project is funded by the Research Foundation-Flanders (FWO-V). The Belgian project consists of a population study, the mapping of the associational landscape in Belgium and a comprehensive survey among organizations that are active at the national and the regional level. The multilayerdness of Belgium with its autonomous regions makes it an interesting case to study. At the same time, it is a challenging case as it complicated the mapping of the organizational population in Belgium. Therefore, we spent much time and energy on developing a sound procedure for mapping all Belgian organized interests and civil society organizations. This mapping started with the KBO and to this we added various other sources. Our study targets all Belgian civil society organizations, which includes a broad range of organizations such as labour unions, NGOs, sport-federations, employer groups and business groups. In total, we identified approximate 1700 organizations that are active at the Belgian central and regional level. In addition to this we implemented a issue-centered project on policy advocacy in Belgium.
For the Belgian data, click here.
The main goal of this study is to promote a better understanding of the role played by interest groups in the Portuguese political system. In particular, the action of interest groups is to be examined in three distinct arenas: the institutional one, in the civil society and in the public opinion. These three dimensions shall offer a wide and systematic view of interest groups in Portugal as political actors. The study of interest groups in Portugal is virtually inexistent from the political science’s viewpoint. Besides some analyses regarding trade unions, or sectoral examinations based on public policies, the existing knowledge on the role of interest groups as political actors is still rather incipient. Hence, this project aims to mobilize the theoretical approaches and analytical tools offered by political science in order to better characterize these organizations and thus understand the processes of interaction with the political power. What are the mobilization strategies of interest groups? What are the political areas in which they are most active? What relationships groups establish with other institutional actors? These are some of the questions to which answers shall be given. Following the identification of the interest groups’ population, a questionnaire will be implemented in replication of the Comparative Interest Group Survey. Furthermore, data will be collected on the media coverage of interest groups and over their presence in parliamentary hearings (1985–2019).
For the Portuguese data, click here.
The Lithuanian survey was funded by the Research Council of Lithuania and was implemented in the spring of 2016 (grant MIP-030/2015). The Lithuanian project consisted of national interest group population study, a comprehensive survey of national level organizations, complemented with interviews with representatives of interest groups. Additionally, the survey added a block of questions related to party-interest group relationships, aiming to gain insight in the nature and causes of such interaction. The Lithuanian project was coordinated by Algis Krupavičius and Ligita Šarkutė of Kaunas University of Technology (now working in Vytautas Magnus University), assisted by Vitalija Simonaitytė and Vaida Jankauskaitė. The sampling frame included active Lithuanian interest groups operating at the national level, selected from the major Lithuanian business information databases and supplemented with lists provided by the Lithuanian ministries and government agencies.
For the Lithuanian data, click here.
The Polish project consists of the population study, mapping of the interest groups population in Poland after 1989 and a survey among organizations that are active at the national level. The fall of Communism started the process of reorganization of interests in the country. The emerging system faced a number of difficulties: lack of trust in lobbying, weak civil society, however with strong ideological standing. With time, the European integration opened a new challenge for the interest groups in form of Europeanization and multi-level governance.
The Polish case allows us to observe in particular how Europeanization informs structural and organizational changes within a young democratic civil society, and the influence of the multi-level context on strategic choices of national interest groups. The specific challenge of the project is a lack of systematic studies on the Polish interest groups. We combined databases of other projects (INTEREURO, CONNEX, EUROLOB II) voluntary registries (www.ngo.pl) and the National Court Register (KRS, www.krs-online.com.pl), interviews, and snowballing to create a comprehensive overview of the groups’ population.
For the Polish data, click here.
The Slovenian survey is funded by the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS). As with other projects, the Slovenian team first mapped the national interest group population. Although Slovenia represents one of the smallest EU member states, the number of societies and organizations per inhabitant is high. The population survey thus consists of a comprehensive survey of organizations that are currently active and active predominantly at a national level.
Slovenia is an interesting case due to its socialist past, the important role that civil society played during the transition period, and the oft-repeated criticism that civil society in new post-socialist member states is weak. The Slovenian dataset builds on data from The Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Public Legal Records and Related Services (AJPES) and targets all Slovenian civil society, including labor unions, NGOs, sports federations, employer groups and business groups. The Slovenian team identified approximately 1300 national-level interest organizations that were invited to participate in the survey.
For the Slovenian data, click here.
The Swedish project has been funded by the Swedish Research Council and the Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society. It consists of a population study and a comprehensive survey among organizations active at the national level. The population of interest groups was identified through three sources: A) incoming letters and e-mail from organized interests to the Government Offices during one year (2011); B) responses to proposals referred for consideration by the government during one year (2011); C) lists over all organizations which organized events during the major political event Almedalsveckan in 2011.
In total, we identified about 1700 interest organizations that were active at the national level in 2011. Around 1500 of these were still active when the survey was conducted in 2015, and the survey was sent to all these interest groups. The comparative survey was translated and slightly adapted to the national context to enable a comparative analysis while still being sensitive to the Swedish context.
For the Swedish data, click here.
The Czech survey is conducted as a part of a research project “Transactional Activism: Czech Advocacy Organizations in Comparative Perspective” that is generously funded by the Czech Science Foundation (GACR). Political activism and civil society in post-communist countries are considered weak in comparison to “old” Western democracies as political involvement of citizens in civic groups, unions and social movement organizations is relatively low. Yet, some suggest that though individual-level civic and political activism is lacking, a somewhat different and specific form of civil society and public advocacy has developed in the region of Eastern Central Europe (ECE). Petrova and Tarrow call it “transactional activism” that lies in “ties—enduring and temporary—among organized non-state actors and between them and political parties, power holders, and other institutions.” The Czech team conceptualizes “transactional activism” as a specific type of organizations’ “strategic capacity” that can compensate for the lack of other resources or help overcome adversarial context, thereby enabling the political activism of advocacy organizations. Since Czech Republic shows a low grassroots involvement and scores relatively low on contextual factors enabling political activism (rather closed political opportunities, low score on “activist” self-expressive culture), the country presents a great case for examining the role of a group’s strategic capacity on political activism. The project will collect and analyze original data on Czech advocacy sector (survey of around 3000 advocacy organizations to be conducted in Fall 2018) applying the standardized survey instrument of the CIG Survey to enable systematic comparisons across countries, post-communist and old Western democracies, and various issue industries.
For the Czech Republic data, click here.
The Dutch survey was conducted in the Spring of 2016. The case selection and data collection is coordinated by Joost Berkhout and Marcel Hanegraaff of the University of Amsterdam, and Caelesta Braun of the University of Leiden, assisted by Jens van der Ploeg. The sampling frame includes 2500 interest groups, selected from attendance lists of public hearings of the Dutch House of Representatives between 2012 and 2014 (Hoorzittingen en Ronde Tafel Gesprekken van (commissies van) de Tweede Kamer), supplemented with a sample of the Dutch Pyttersen’s Almanak 2013 (containing both politically inactive and active organizations). The survey was translated and only slightly adapted to fit to the national context. This has been done in such a manner to enable a comparative analysis with other European countries, and, at the same time, to gain insight in the operations and inner workings of the Dutch civil society.
For the Dutch data, click here.