Beyers, Jan. (2003) "Voice and access: Political practices of European interest associations". In: UNSPECIFIED, Nashville, TN. (Unpublished)
This article examines to what extent European interest associations combine public political practices with seeking access to policy networks. We compare two theoretical approaches explaining the choices of political practices, one focusing on the nature of mobilized interest and another considering the institutional context in which mobilization takes place. An important part o£ the EU-literature stresses resource-based explanations and the nature of the organized interest. This perspective considers access by specific interests as more relevant than public campaigning by diffuse interests. In contrast, we claim that some institutional features of the EU stimulate the use of public political practices by diffuse interests. In the empirical section we demonstrate that, although the institutional supply of access might favor specific interests, the EU contains important opportunities for those who aim to expand the scope of political conflict.
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