Jan Beyers

Jan Beyers
University of Antwerp | UA · Faculty of Political and Social Sciences

PhD Social Sciences

About

101
Publications
35,634
Reads
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3,908
Citations
Introduction
My research and teaching covers institutional theories, comparative politics, European Union politics, interest groups and research methods. My current research projects investigate how organized interests adapt to multi-level political opportunities in terms of their internal organization, political strategies as well as their programmatic policy agenda. It covers topics such as multi-level venue-shopping, EU interest groups as well as group politics in the WTO and the UNFCCC.
Additional affiliations
February 2003 - August 2007
Leiden University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
February 2003 - August 2007
Leiden University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 2002 - present
Education
October 1997 - December 2000
KU Leuven
Field of study
  • Political Science
October 1995 - October 1997
Catholic University of Brussels
Field of study
  • Statistics
October 1990 - September 1992
University of Antwerp
Field of study
  • Political Science

Publications

Publications (101)
Article
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This article explains varying levels of transnational advocacy initiated by domestic organized interests. Theoretically, we integrate the constraining and enabling impact of the domestic context with factors related to global opportunity structures. We test our hypotheses with an original dataset consisting of all national organized interests that...
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What triggers the information exchange among the regional offices in Brussels? To answer this question, we develop a framework based on network theory and present the first large-N quantitative study on EU-level inter-regional networks. Our results show that information exchanges take place predominantly among regions from the same member state. Fu...
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The interaction between organized interests and policymakers is an important ingredient of contemporary political systems. In earlier work, interest group scholars have distinguished groups who enjoy access to consultation arrangements from those who are bound to stand on the sideline. Frequently, these insiders are considered to be equally connect...
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In most political systems, the community of policy insiders represents a small subset of the total interest group population. Therefore, one key question is which factors explain why some mobilized interests become insiders and others remain outsiders. By contrasting a bottom-up registration of interest groups with a top-down census of all groups t...
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The degree to which interest groups gain access to policymakers has often been explained by focusing on the exchange of resources in a dyadic relation between interest groups and policymakers. This article argues that the position an interest group occupies within a coalition and the relations it has outside its coalition, substantially affect the...
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This paper examines how public support affects interest groups’ advocacy success across three distinct stages in the legislative process. We hypothesize that public support is vital for advocacy success when coalition agreements are negotiated, has a weaker effect when legislation is introduced in parliament by the governing majority but becomes ag...
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This article discusses the methodology and practice behind planning and executing the Comparative Interest Group-survey project (CIG-survey). The CIG-survey includes surveys among national populations of organized interests in 9 European countries and at the European Union level. Although surveys are a useful and reliable way to collect data on a v...
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Agencies consult extensively with stakeholders such as industry associations, nongovernmental organizations, and trade unions. One rationale for consultations is that these improve procedural legitimacy and lead to greater acceptance of regulatory outcomes by citizens and the regulated industry. While this presumption of a positive relation between...
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This paper assesses the size and diversity of Belgium’s interest group population by triangulating four data sources. Combining different sources allows us to describe which societal interests get mobilised, which interest organizations become politically active, and who gains access to the policy process and obtains news media attention. Unique ab...
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While many scholars have postulated the decline of membership influence as an important consequence of the professionalisation of civil society organisations (CSOs), other analysts have argued that traditional membership-driven CSOs are resilient and that hiring professionals does not necessarily diminish membership influence. This study sheds ligh...
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To facilitate stakeholder representation, European Union (EU) agencies use a range of procedures, including closed consultation or advisory committees and open or public consultations. For analysing what kind of stakeholders gain access to advisory committees, we compare these two particular procedures. Two theoretical perspectives guide this analy...
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The past decades have been characterized by a growing number of nonstate actors (NSAs) involved in global governance. However, despite this growth, only a small number of NSAs have been able to maintain a prolonged global presence over a substantial period of time. To explain why some NSAs are more active, we rely on resource dependence theory. We...
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To design regulatory policies, agencies depend on information from the industries they are tasked to regulate. Therefore, agencies can organise consultations with the aim of obtaining information from different perspectives. This article focuses on stakeholder diversity in agency public consultations. We ask to what extent is information provided b...
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In their pursuit of political influence, interest groups face the choice to contact policy elites directly or to generate pressure indirectly by appealing to the public at large. This article examines whether interest groups should prioritize inside or outside lobbying tactics in order to materialize their policy objectives, with a specific focus o...
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Contemporary studies on interest group politics have mainly used single interest organizations as their central objects of study. This has led to a rich body of knowledge on the motivations of interest group mobilization, strategy development and even policy access and influence. The focus on single interest groups, however, has resulted in limited...
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Communities of civil society organizations are characterized by substantial volatility, as new organizations are continuously established and old ones are regularly disbanded. This article aims to improve our understanding of the dynamic nature of civil society by focusing on a particular aspect of organizational maintenance, namely, mortality anxi...
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This article analyzes the formation of lobbying coalitions in European Union legislative politics. Specifically, we investigate whether interest organizations establish coalitions and under which conditions business interests and non-business interests join a coalition. Our explanatory framework emphasizes three factors that drive coalition formati...
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Scholars of mobilisation and policy influence employ two quite different approaches to mapping interest group systems. Those interested in research questions on mobilisation typically rely on a bottom-up mapping strategy in order to characterise the total size and composition of interest group communities. Researchers with an interest in policy inf...
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The growing attempts by non-state interests to influence global policy processes has attracted much scholarly interest in recent years. One important question thereby is what characterizes and explains the interactions of non-state advocates with policymakers. In order to clarify this matter, we analyse the advocacy strategies of non-state actors,...
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This research agenda starts from the observation that in most political science research, the salience which citizens, interest groups, policymakers and the media attach to policymaking processes on specific policies is usually measured for just one actor type. As a consequence, it is difficult to assess the extent to which the salience attribution...
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Interest group research has focused extensively on political access. While access does not guarantee influence, it is customarily seen as a crucial step towards gaining political influence. It is argued that groups with access are, all else equal, more likely to be influential than groups without access. Biased access may thus result in biased infl...
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The multi-level system of the EU (European Union) constrains the institutionalized representation of the regional tier of government. Consequently, SNAs (sub-national authorities) seek to represent their interests through various lobbying practices, including taking part in the European Commission's open consultations. In this article, we argue tha...
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There is consensus in the literature that policymaking in the United States (US) and Europe generates different lobbying styles. Two explanations for these differences have been developed so far. The first posits that distinct lobbying styles reflect different political cultures . The second attributes distinct lobbying styles to variation in the i...
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What affects lobbying patterns in trade policymaking? Existing explanations focus mainly on economic determinants, like the rise of intra-industry trade. We argue that the international trade institutions of the WTO themselves are also key for understanding which type of interest aggregation of firm and interest group preferences is likely to arise...
Article
This article seeks to explain the use of inside and outside lobbying by organised interests at global diplomatic conferences. At first sight, the lobbying at these venues is puzzling as it does not seem to be a very fruitful way to acquire influence. The use of outside strategies especially is perplexing because most aspects of international negoti...
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Political science research on EU interest groups and parties represents two separate study fields and both literatures convey a somewhat different image of EU legislative policymaking. While most scholars of party politics endorse the notion that parties politicize EU legislative politics, scholarship of interest groups tends to portray EU policyma...
Book
The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg are well-known cases of consensus politics. Decision-making in the Low Countries has been characterized by broad involvement, power sharing and making compromises. These countries were also founding member states of the European Union (EU) and its predecessors. However, the relationship between European integ...
Chapter
The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg are well-known cases of consensus politics. Decision-making in the Low Countries has been characterized by broad involvement, power sharing and making compromises. These countries were also founding member states of the European Union (EU) and its predecessors. However, the relationship between European integ...
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We outline a conceptual framework that identifies and characterizes the contextual nature of interest group politics in the European Union to better understand variation in interest group mobilization, lobbying strategies and interest group influence. We focus on two sets of contextual factors that affect EU interest group lobbying. First, we argue...
Chapter
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The number and scope of transnational organizations has risen markedly during the past decades. According to the Union of International Associations (UIA), each year over a thousand transnational organizations are established, and as a result in 2012 the UIA estimated the existence of no less than 7,608 intergovernmental and an astonishing number o...
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While sub-national authorities are well mobilized in Brussels, they do not lobby all EU-level venues to the same extent. This article explains the extent to which regional offices interact with various EU-level policymaking venues when seeking to influence EU policies. Theoretically, we complement an exchange-based perspective with political-instit...
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We outline a conceptual framework that identifies and characterizes the contextual nature of interest group politics in the European Union to better understand variation in interest group mobilization, lobbying strategies and interest group influence. We focus on two sets of contextual factors that affect EU interest group lobbying. First, we argue...
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Proper sampling is the foundation for all scientific enquiry aimed at making generalizable claims about a wider set of cases. Indeed, inferential statistical analysis presupposes representative samples and units of analysis that can be considered as independent observations. Establishing a sample of issues on which lobbying may take place, which is...
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This article sheds light on the practice and method of expert interviewing in research projects on interest group politics. We first discuss the rationale of interviewing as a data collection instrument, arguing that a careful combination and cross-validation of behavioral and observational data improves the quality of interviews as well as provide...
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This article outlines both the overall structure of the INTEREURO Project (Comparative Research on Interest Group Politics in Europe) and the theoretical foci, research activities and data sets generated by its several modules. We provide this description for two purposes. First, it provides a necessary backdrop for understanding the remaining essa...
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One conclusion in the literature on domestic European Union (EU) coordination is that the formal institutional properties of countries—devolved versus centralized or unitary—affect the nature of coordination practices. Basically, the view has emerged that domestic coordination is a largely bureaucratic process in which political control mechanisms...
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The literature on territorial lobbying in the European Union (EU) has paid much attention to the interaction between regional representations in Brussels and the member-state central governments, and the relations of these representations with the European institutions. Surprisingly, far less systematic research has been conducted on the policies t...
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This article examines the coverage of legislative lobbying in European news media. The starting point thereby is that lobbying in the crowded EU-level interest community is not only a struggle for direct access to policymakers, but that in order to realize policy goals many interest groups rely on political attention generated by the media. Our mai...
Article
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The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg are well-known cases of consensus politics. Traditionally, decision-making in the Low Countries has been characterized by broad involvement, power sharing and making compromises. These countries were also founding member states of the European Union (EU) and its predecessors. However, the relationship between...
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This paper disentangles the impact of various dimensions of European integration on different aspects of the Belgian federal polity. We discern two opposite trends. While the institutional embeddedness of Belgium as an EU member state results in domestic centralizing tendencies and co-operative political practices, economic integration stimulates p...
Article
The principal idea of this paper is that the European socialisation of domestic political actors as a result of the growing involvement in European policy-making settings is not as self evident as early and current neofunctionalists often assume. Rather we suggest that the European socialisation of national actors is mediated by factors that relate...
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The central purpose of this paper is to explain why some officials involved in Council working groups have a more positive disposition towards European integration than others. The paper is inspired by the fact that many studies on European integration deal only occasionally with the attitudes and ideas of the men and women involved in daily negoti...
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Subnational authorities (SNAs) are increasingly mobilized at the European level and much research has been conducted on the liaison offices that represent these substate jurisdictions. Yet liaison offices are only one of the available organizational forms SNAs rely on in Brussels. In this article we investigate multiple organizational forms—such as...
Chapter
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The openness of the World Trade Organization (WTO) towards non-state actors has led to much debate among scholars and practitioners. The objective of this paper is to add empirical knowledge to this ongoing debate. In particular, we examine the effects of allowing interest groups to participate at WTO Ministerial Conferences (MCs) during 1996–2009...
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The relationship between the World Trade Organization (WTO) and interest groups has been and still is a contentious topic in many political and scholarly debates.1 One of the key issues in these debates is the access that the WTO offers to a variety of interest groups wanting to participate in trade policy making. Although access to the WTO’s prede...
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The openness of the World Trade Organization (WTO) towards non-state actors has led to much debate among scholars and practitioners. The objective of this paper is to add empirical knowledge to this ongoing debate. More in particular, we examine the effects of allowing interest groups to participate at WTO Ministerial Conferences (MCs) during 1996-...
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This article describes and explains the variable extent to which domestic interest organizations seek access to the multiple venues provided by the European system of governance. A multivariate analysis of data collected in four member states—France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany—reveals substantial variance in multilevel venue shopping, di...
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Socialization is an important concept in contemporary empirical studies on European integration and politics. However, the existing empirical research differs substantially in terms of research design, operationalization and measurement as well as analytical categories. Yet, despite these divergences, some relevant conclusions can be drawn from thi...
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Contemporaneously, the study of EU lobbying appears somewhat disconnected from other sub-areas within the study of EU politics. Research tends to be focused on single issues – either particularistic or directional – and concentrates on communicative interaction modes that emphasise network governance, ignoring the electoral side of politics. This e...
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While understanding interest group systems remains crucial to understanding the functioning of advanced democracies, the study of interest groups remains a somewhat niche field within political science. Nevertheless, during the last 15 years, the academic interest in group politics has grown and we reflect on the state of the current literature. Th...
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Although EU institutions and policies create additional opportunities for national interest groups to influence policy-making, not all domestic groups make use of the extended niche provided by the EU. Lagging Europeanization has often been explained by resource-based accounts; for instance, the group's staff resources or financial strength determi...
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During the last decade trade has become a fertile laboratory for studying interest group politics and agenda-setting. This paper illustrates the mechanisms through which trade issues become prominent on the media agenda. Our analysis resorts to two datasets. First, we use comparative data (covering Belgium, France, Germany, and the Netherlands) on...
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This article investigates the impact of European integration on the Belgian federal polity. In particular, we substantiate two propositions. First, we show that European integration stimulates Regions, Communities and central government to cooperate. Second, Europe prevents the central government level from disappearing. Europeanisation seems to ha...
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Neofunctional, supranationalist, and constructivist scholars studying European integration hypothesize that social interactions cutting across national borders lead individual actors to shift their allegiance toward the European level. This strong socialization hypothesis presumes that, as a result of prolonged exposure and interactions, individual...
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"Dieser Bericht stellt erste Ergebnisse der deutschen Teilstudie des Forschungsprojekts 'Access and legitimacy' vor. Ausgehend von der wachsenden Bedeutung europäischer Politik untersucht dieses Projekt, wie Interessengruppen und soziale Bewegungen auf die EU-Politik im Allgemeinen und die EU-Handelspolitik im Besonderen reagieren. Der Bericht präs...
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Often it is argued that the EU depoliticizes political issues as bureaucrats and nonmajoritarian institutions are key in the policy-making process. However, recent research rejects this perspective and shows that domestic political cleavages organize the European political space. This article demonstrates that (a) political cleavages affect the org...