POLS248 Getting Things Done: Organizing, Lobbying and Campaigning


The political parties have always been accepted as the main agents of interest representation in the modern democratic process. Although this remains to be true, in an environment of growing voter disalignment with parties, popular discontent with politics and democracy, and citizen's general lack of interest in politics, these types of traditional forms of collective action are undermined. New, more flexible in structure, participatory in their decision-making, and capable of creating networks to produce public goods, intermediaries are trying to influence the decision-making process.

Interest group politics has been a well known term used to describe the American and Anglo-Saxon political process but it has been less attributed to the traditional European party politics. This, as stated in the beginning is less and less so due to the much more rapidly changing social, economic, cultural and technological arrangements that surround and upon which democracy depends both materially and normatively. Europeanization and globalization have both affected the legitimacy of contemporary democracy in terms of their representative functions and in its accountability. The traditional look on interest group politics and lobbying has shifted from a negative perception as a corrupted channel that undermines democracy to a new channel of interest representation that can help solve the problem of "the democratic deficit".

This course aims to establish a comprehensive framework to understand representative democracy and its channels. To do so the course looks at different agents and practices of representation - political parties, governments, interest groups, business associations and trade unions. By doing that the course defines the term political lobbyism and outlines its basic characteristics, mechanisms and practices in comparative context.

Building on the theoretical framework the course reviews the factors that affect the political lobbyism and discusses the perspectives and the main developments in interest group politics both on national and on European level. While doing that the course aims at providing the students with both a comprehensive understanding of politics as interest representation and a practical set of skills to participate and influence the legislative process.

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Politics and Society (in English)


Asst. Hristo Panchugov

Course Description:



After completing successfully this course the students will:

1) know:

" The basic characteristics of Interest Group Politics and the contemporary challenges to representative politics

" The basic decision-making and legislative process on national and european level

" The characteristics of lobbying, advocacy and campaigning

" Basic dilemmas with regards lobbying and interest representation

" Basic mechanism of political lobbyism

2) be able to:

" Critically discuss and assess the processes of interest representation

" Use theoretical models to understand practical problems of representation

" Understand and use the mechanisms of political lobbyism

" Develop a lobbying strategy and campaign

3) job opportunities, according to the National Register of Jobs and Positions in the Republic of Bulgaria:

- Mid-level specialists and experts in international organizations - UN, The Council of Europe, OSCE, NATO

- Experts in the EU institutions

- Experts and consultants in international NGOs

- Teachers in colleges and schools

- Experts in social and related sciences and humanities

- Journalists and editors

- Diplomatic servants

- Specialists with analytical and control functions in the administration

- Journalists


Full-time Programmes

Types of Courses:

Language of teaching:




1. Bouwen, Pieter:"A Comperative Study Of Business Lobbying In The European Parliament, European Commission And The Council Of Ministers", 2002

2. Bouwen, Pieter. Firms versus Associations: The Democratic Legitimacy of Business Interest Representation in the European Union, West European Politics, under review

3. Bouwen, Pieter. The Logic of Access to the European Parliament: Business Lobbying in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, Journal of Common Market Studies, 42:2 or 42:3, 2004 forthcoming

4. Bouwen, Pieter. Exchanging Access Goods for Access: A Comparative Study of Business Lobbying in the EU Institutions, European Journal of Political Research, 43:4 or 43:5, 2004 forthcoming

5. Bouwen, Pieter. A Theoretical and Empirical Study of Corporate Lobbying in the European Parliament, European Integration online Papers (EIoP), 7:11, 2003

6. Bouwen, Pieter. Lobbying in de Europese Unie: Is er nog toekomst voor nationale belangengroepen? Res Publica, The Belgian Journal for Political Science, 2003/4

7. Bouwen, Pieter. Corporate Lobbying in the European Union: The Logic of Access, Journal of European Public Policy, 9:3, 2002

8. Pedahzur Ami and Avraham Brichta, 2002. "The institutionalization of Extreme Right-wing Charismatic Parties: A paradox", Party politics, vol 8. No.1 pp. 31-49

9. Schlesinger, Philip: "What is the expected effect of Eu enlargement policy on the European public sphere?"

10. Calhoun, Craig "Interests, Identity and the Public Sphere"

11. Schimmelfenning, Frank and Ulrich Sedelmeier "Governance by conditionality: EU rule transfer to the candidate countries of Central and Eastern Europe" (2004)

12. Pridham, G. 2002. "EU enlargement and Consolidating Democracy in Post-Communist states: Formality and Reality." Journal of Common Market Studies 30: 953-73

13. Goetz. 2001. "Making Sense of Post-Communist Central Administration: Modernization, Europeanization, or Latinization?" Journal of European Public Policy 8: 132-51.

14. Lippert, Barbara; Gaby Umbach, and Wolfgang Wessels. 2001. "Europeanization of CEE Executives: EU membership Negotiations as a shaping Power." Journal of European Public Policy 8:6, pp. 980-1012.

15. Schimmelfennig, Frank and Ulrich Sedelmeier. 2004. "Governance by Conditionality: EU Rule Transfer to the Candidate Countries of Central and Eastern Europe." Journal of European Public Policy 11 (August): pp. 669-687

16. Keating, Michael. 2004. "European Integration and the Nationalities Question". Politics & Society 32, pp. 367-388.

17. Hughes, James and Gwendolyn Sasse. 2004. "Monitoring the Monitors: EU Enlargement Conditionality and Minority Protection in the CEECs." Journal of Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe. Issue 1/2004

18. Lindstrom, Nicole: "European Integration and Ethnic Reconciliation in Croatia and Serbia", Meeting Report 295, Niarchos Roundtable on "Overcoming Religious Nationalism in the Balkans," held on December 5, 2003

19. Lane, Jan-Erik and Svante Ersson, "The new institutional Politics: Performance and Outcomes"

20. Frank S. Cohen, "Proportional versus Majoritarian Ethnic Conflict Management In Democracies"

21. Slomp, Hans, 2000 "Labor relations in Europe: a history of issues and developments"

22. Slomp, Hans, 1996, "Between Bargaining and Politics. An Introduction to European labor Relations", Westport, Praeger Publishers

23. Hanssen, Bent "Immigration policies in Fortress Europe"

24. Bohle, D. & D. Husz (2005) "Whose Europe is it? Interest group action in accession negotiations: The cases of competition policy and labor migration" in Politique Europeenne, no. 15, Winter, pp. 85-112.

25. Bohle, D. & B. Greskovits (2006) "Capitalism without compromise: Strong business and weak labor in eastern Europe's new transnational industries" in Studies in Comparative International Development (Spring, forthcoming)

26. Rigby, M., R. Smith and T. Lawlor, 1999, "European trade unions. Change and Response", London, Routledge

27. Ronald J. Hrebener/Ruth K. Scott "Interest Group Politics In America" 1982

28. David Truman, "The Governmental Process" 1971

29. P. Wall/ S. Zimmerman "American Government: The Core" 1986

30. Lester Milbrath, The Washington Lobbyists, 1963

31. James Q. Wilson, "Political Organizations", 1973

32. Jeffrey Berry, "The Interest Group Society", 1989

33. Rais A. Kan/ James D. McNiven: Political Science, 1990

34. David Held: Models of Democracy,1987

35. Elhanan Helpman/Torsten Persson: Lobbying And Legislative Bargaining, 1998

36. Andrew S. Mcfarland:Common Cause - Lobbying In The Public interest, 1984