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Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij x Jaar 2005 x Rubriek Artikel x

    This article poses the question whether the Dutch system of organized interest representation faces a transformation from neo-corporatist mediation to lobbyism similar to Scandinavian countries. Its main claim is that this has so far not been the case, because two essential features of neo-corporatist interest mediation have remained prominent in the Netherlands. First, policies regarding labour conditions continue to be determined within a network of employers' organisations, trade unions, and the government that is essentially closed to outsiders. Second, the system continues to be hierarchical in nature: the government, often below the surface, demonstrates a considerable capacity to steer the participants in its preferred direction. Such a closed network still allows for lobbying the parliament by both network members and outsiders. Lobbying may thus be complementary to closed neo-corporatist networks rather than a substitute. The article offers a research agenda exploring the latter suggestion.


Agnes Akkerman
Agnes Akkerman is als universitair docent verbonden aan de Faculteit der Management Wetenschappen van de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen. Recente publicaties van haar hand zijn 'Identifying Latent Conflict in Collective Bargaining', Rationality and Society 15(1): 15-43; 'A theory of soft policy implementation in multilevel systems with an application to Dutch social partnership', Acta Politica 39(1): 31-58. Adres: Thomas van Aquinostraat 5, Postbus 9108, 6500 HK Nijmegen,

    This paper offers an introduction to the research theme of 'lobbyism'. Recent Scandinavian research shows that lobbyism is a modern mirror view of corporatism, which develops through changes in the structure of decision-making and implementation by interest groups and government. Three questions are put forward: (a) what is the empirical evidence for the phenomenon of lobbyism? (b) what potential contribution could the concept of lobbyism make to a better understanding of corporatism in the Netherlands? (c) what are, according to the theory of collective decision-making, the most important differences between influence strategies in corporatist negotiation structures, and those in lobby networks?


René Torenvlied
René Torenvlied is als universitair hoofddocent verbonden aan de capaciteitsgroep Sociologie van de Universiteit Utrecht en het Interuniversitair Centrum voor Sociaal-wetenschappelijke theorievorming en methodenontwikkeling aldaar. Enkele recente publicaties zijn: 'When will they ever make up their minds? The social structure of unstable decision-making.' Journal of Mathematical Sociology. 28(3): 171-196 en 'Polarization and Policy Conflict.' Journal of Conflict Resolution, forthcoming. Adres: Heidelberglaan 2, 3884 CS Utrecht.
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