Exploring Information Exchange among Interest Groups: A Text-Reuse Approach

Abstract

The presence of communication channels plays a key role in how interest groups engage in EU policymaking. However, the capacity of researchers to explain these patterns is constrained by the informal and secretive nature of much of this interaction. In this paper we develop a novel text-as-data approach which maps the informal patterns of information exchange among the stakeholders that engage with EU policymaking by detecting instances of text reuse among the comment letters submitted by these groups to the same policy proposal. We deploy this approach to analyze a novel dataset of publicly available comments to a wide a range of EU policies, and find that there are significant differences between the structure of information exchange networks and more formal lobbying coalitions in the EU, as well as between the groups that engage in these forms of coordination.

Publication
forthcoming at the Journal of European Public Policy