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Parliamentarians and Interest Groups: Drivers and Consequences of Collaboration (Follow-Up)

Applicant Huwyler Oliver
Number 195721
Funding scheme Doc.Mobility
Research institution Department of Political Science University of North Carolina
Institution of higher education Institution abroad - IACH
Main discipline Political science
Start/End 01.09.2020 - 28.02.2021
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Keywords (7)

Political careers; Parliamentarians; Legislative studies; Political representation; Interest groups; Moonlighting; Lobbying

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
In vier Fünfteln aller Demokratien weltweit können sich Parlamentsabgeordnete ihr Einkommen durch ausserparlamentarische Tätigkeiten aufbessern. Oftmals arbeiten sie dabei für Interessengruppen, die sich durch diese Verbindungen mehr politischen Einfluss erhoffen. Dadurch beeinflussen diese Organisationen auch, wie Parlamentsabgeordnete ihre Wählerinnen und Wähler vertreten.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziele: Viele Parlamentarierinnen und Parlamentarier engagieren nebst ihrem Mandat auch in Interessengruppen. Diese Mitarbeit ist teilweise ehrenamtlich, in anderen Fällen wiederum wird sie entlöhnt. Gleichzeitig herrscht eine grosse Vielfalt unter den Organisationen, die sich auf diese Weise um politischen Einfluss bemühen. Das Hauptziel dieses Projektes ist es zu untersuchen, wie sich diese verschiedenen Interessenbindungen auf die Fähigkeit der Abgeordneten auswirken, die Interessen ihres Wahlkreises vertreten. Unter welchen Umständen können Nebentätigkeiten die Bande zwischen Abgeordneten und ihrer Wählerschaft stärken? Wann führen sie zu einer Entfremdung zwischen Repräsentanten und Repräsentierten?

Der Forschungsschwerpunkt wird anhand des Fallbeispieles Deutschland untersucht. Zu diesem Zweck werden Daten zu Bundestagsabgeordneten, die bereits im Rahmen zweier früherer Projekte erhoben wurden (http://p3.snf.ch/project-162427; http://p3.snf.ch/project-188235), mit den mündlichen und schriftlichen Fragen der Abgeordneten kombiniert. Die parlamentarischen Fragen werden genutzt, um das Ausmass der Wahlkreisrepräsentation zu ermitteln.

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext: Die Ergebnisse des Projektes liefern wichtige Erkenntnisse für den wissenschaftlichen Diskurs zur Repräsentationsfunktion von Abgeordneten und die Rolle von Interessengruppen in Gesetzgebungsprozessen. Gleichzeitig tragen sie auch zu öffentlichen Debatten bei, die sich mit der Rolle von Lobbying, der Unabhängigkeit von Abgeordneten und der Professionalisierung von Parlamenten beschäftigen.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 31.08.2020

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Publications

Publication
Interest Groups’ Recruitment of Incumbent Parliamentarians to Their Boards
HuwylerOliver, Interest Groups’ Recruitment of Incumbent Parliamentarians to Their Boards, in Parliamentary Affairs.

Datasets

Replication Data for Interest Groups’ Recruitment of Incumbent Parliamentarians to Their Boards

Author Huwyler, Oliver
Publication date 31.03.2021
Persistent Identifier (PID) https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/GVZ4LO
Repository Harvard Dataverse
Abstract
Replication Data for Interest Groups’ Recruitment of Incumbent Parliamentarians to Their Boards

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Tomas Turner-Zwinkels / Tilburg University Netherlands (Europe)
- Publication
Shane Martin / University of Essex Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- Publication
Frank R. Baumgartner / UNC Chapel Hill United States of America (North America)
- Publication
Stefanie Bailer / University of Basel Switzerland (Europe)
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
2021 Annual Conference of the Swiss Political Science Association Talk given at a conference Legislators’ Side Jobs and Their Impact on Constituency Representation 04.02.2021 Online, Switzerland Huwyler Oliver;
2021 Annual Meeting of the Southern Political Science Association Talk given at a conference Interest Group Tactics and Legislative Behaviour: How the Mode of Communication Matters 06.01.2021 Online, United States of America Huwyler Oliver;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
188235 Parliamentarians and Interest Groups: Drivers and Consequences of Collaboration 01.09.2019 Doc.Mobility
162427 Parliamentary Careers in Comparison 01.09.2016 Project funding

Abstract

In Western democracies, elected parliamentarians rarely face any restrictions when it comes to working side jobs next to their mandate (“moonlighting”). In many instances, their employers are interest groups that pursue a political agenda. These relationships affect parliamentarians’ behavior in the legislatures, and hence entail so far unaddressed consequences for voters. Previous research has been unable to show how salaries paid by interest groups affect parliamentarians’ representative role and more broadly, the functioning of representative democracy. On the one hand, interest groups have been perceived as transmitting citizens’ opinions to parliamentarians - and paid side jobs may hence be seen as incentivizing and empowering parliamentarians to perform their representative function. On the other hand though, existing evidence suggests that extra-parliamentary earnings come at the expense of legislative activities. Paid side jobs may therefore threaten parliamentarians’ responsiveness to their constituents. The key goal of this project is to scrutinize the impact of salaries paid by interest groups on parliamentarians’ representation of their voters’ interests. It is necessary to develop a nuanced theoretical approach that allows for the identification of conditions under which interest group salaries either strengthen or weaken parliamentarians’ responsiveness to their constituents. This requires connecting information on which interest groups pay which parliamentarians what amount to the quality of parliamentarians’ constituency representation. The project will rely on a quantitative research design with the appropriate modelling strategy. To that end, I aim to combine data on members of the German Bundestag collected in the ambit of previous SNSF projects (project nos. 188235 and 162427) with new data on parliamentarians’ constituency representation - written and oral questions parliamentarians tabled in the legislature.The findings of this study will provide a nuanced picture of the conditions under which parliamentarians’ financial linkages to interest groups either strengthen or weaken the bond to their voters. In particular, the study will strongly contribute to our understanding of interest groups’ impact on politicians’ responsiveness to their voters. It will crucially inform current debates in the moonlighting and interest group literature. Moreover, the results will also speak to the literature on parliaments and parliamentarians, and more broadly, legislative studies.
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