European Union Politics vol:5 issue:2 pages:211-240
This article examines to what extent European interest associations combine public political strategies with traditional forms of inside lobbying or the seeking of access to public officials. I compare two theoretical perspectives: a resource-based explanation focusing on the nature of the mobilized interest and an institutional account emphasizing the explanatory power of varying institutional conditions. My data show that institutional variables have a significant effect on whether and how public and inside strategies are combined. Although the institutional supply of access favours specific interests, the European Union contains important institutional opportunities for diffuse interests that aim to expand the scope of political conflict or signal policy concerns by using public political strategies.