The scope and patterns of mobilization and conflict in EU interest group politics 1 Work in progress-do not cite without the authors' permission

Arndt Wonka, Iskander De Bruycker, Dirk De Bièvre, Caelesta Braun, Jan Beyers
The literature on interest group mobilization in EU legislative politics is heavily focused on organizations as much attention is concentrated on groups' organizational characteristics, their activities towards different institutional venues, and their attempts to influence policies in one or a small set of policy cases. Yet, despite our growing knowledge about interest group politics, we know little about the pervasiveness of lobbying or the patterns of conflict and mobilization in EU interest
more » ... tion in EU interest group politics. How are conflict and mobilization in EU interest group politics structured? Can we speak of structural patterns of interest group conflict and mobilization or is the EU rather a balkanized lobbying arena? In order to analyze these questions we adopt a policy-centered account, instead of an organization-centered perspective, of interest group politics. More precisely, for a sample of 116 pieces of legislation we analyze the scope of interest group mobilization, the divisiveness of mobilization processes and the nature of conflict that is mobilized through the activities of lobbyists. For our empirical analyses, we triangulate evidence from different sources including media-analyses, interviews with 80 experts in the European Commission, interviews with 143 lobbyists and consultations. We conclude with a discussion of how our understanding of conflict structures complements policy field-and organization-based explanations of interest group politics. 1 All authors contributed equally to the paper and are listed in reversed alphabetical order. 2