Regulating Lobbyists: A Comparative Analysis of the USA, Canada, Germany and the European Union
Document Type Article
Chari, R. Murphy, G. and Hogan, J. 2007. ‘Regulating Lobbyists: A Comparative Analysis of the USA, Canada, Germany and the European Union,’ The Political Quarterly, Vol. 78, No. 3, pp. 422-438.
Lobbying is central to the democratic process. Yet, only four political systems have lobbying regulations: the United States, Canada, Germany and the EU (European Parliament). Despite works offering individual country analysis of lobbying legislation, a two-fold void exists in the literature. Firstly, no study has offered a comparative analysis classifying the laws in these four political systems, which would improve understanding of the different regulatory environments. Secondly, few studies have analysed the views of key agents - politicians, lobbyists and regulators - and how these compare and contrast across regulatory environments.
We firstly utilise an index measuring how strong the regulations are in each of the systems, and develop a classification scheme for the different ‘ideal’ types of regulatory environment. Secondly, we measure the opinions of political actors, interest groups and regulators in all four systems (through questionnaires and elite interviews) and see what correlations, if any, exist between the different ideal types of system and their opinions. The conclusion highlights our findings, and the lessons that can be used by policy-makers in systems without lobbying legislation.