Citation

Regulation Released: The Institutional Foundations of Diffuse Interest Representation in Europe

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Abstract:

Researchers in public policy have long assumed that diffuse interests were therefore weak interests. Because large groups of individuals are difficult to organize, they are thought to go under-represented in public policy. Yet this conclusion is almost entirely unsubstantiated by evidence from public policy. Although organizing diffuse interests is challenging, the challenge also offers enticing potential advantages to a variety of actors. For politicians subject to electoral pressures, diffuse interest groups can help to bolster important constituencies; social activists may have personal and reputational reasons for wanting to organize diffuse interests; producers may seek allies in creating and policing specific consumer markets. While their motivations are different, what all three kinds of actors share is a strong set of incentives to overcome the organizational challenges to diffuse interest organization. This leaves us with the core question of this paper: if diffuse interests are typically able to achieve their goals, why do they sometimes fail to do so? I argue—based on case studies of retail, pharmaceutical, and agricultural regulation in Europe—that diffuse interests typically lose to other more highly organized diffuse interests. This means that the fate of concentrated interests often rests on the outcome of a conflict between one set of diffuse interests and another. Concentrated interests play a role in this process by placing their hand in the balance in favor of one diffuse group or another. But this research suggests that their scope of influence is more highly constrained than the Olson view would suggest.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

interest (204), drug (149), polici (133), diffus (98), price (84), retail (77), regul (74), industri (71), group (71), new (70), public (65), pharmaceut (65), concentr (52), consum (44), p (41), store (38), franc (38), set (38), also (35), high (34), product (33),
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Association:
Name: Seventeenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies
URL:
http://www.ces.columbia.edu


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p399941_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Trumbull, Gunnar. "Regulation Released: The Institutional Foundations of Diffuse Interest Representation in Europe" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Seventeenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies, Grand Plaza, Montreal, Canada, <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p399941_index.html>

APA Citation:

Trumbull, G. "Regulation Released: The Institutional Foundations of Diffuse Interest Representation in Europe" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Seventeenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies, Grand Plaza, Montreal, Canada Online <PDF>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p399941_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Researchers in public policy have long assumed that diffuse interests were therefore weak interests. Because large groups of individuals are difficult to organize, they are thought to go under-represented in public policy. Yet this conclusion is almost entirely unsubstantiated by evidence from public policy. Although organizing diffuse interests is challenging, the challenge also offers enticing potential advantages to a variety of actors. For politicians subject to electoral pressures, diffuse interest groups can help to bolster important constituencies; social activists may have personal and reputational reasons for wanting to organize diffuse interests; producers may seek allies in creating and policing specific consumer markets. While their motivations are different, what all three kinds of actors share is a strong set of incentives to overcome the organizational challenges to diffuse interest organization. This leaves us with the core question of this paper: if diffuse interests are typically able to achieve their goals, why do they sometimes fail to do so? I argue—based on case studies of retail, pharmaceutical, and agricultural regulation in Europe—that diffuse interests typically lose to other more highly organized diffuse interests. This means that the fate of concentrated interests often rests on the outcome of a conflict between one set of diffuse interests and another. Concentrated interests play a role in this process by placing their hand in the balance in favor of one diffuse group or another. But this research suggests that their scope of influence is more highly constrained than the Olson view would suggest.


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The fate of diffuse interests. Interest group influence through framing in EU consumer protection policy

Policy Diffusion, Policy Transfer and Comparative Case Studies:The Case for Tobacco Regulation in the US and EU


 
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