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Interests Influencing Information? Analyzing interest group contribution to information flows in EU Common Fisheries Policy
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6255-2335
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1913-5197
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7780-1039
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Information and knowledge is important for sustainably managing natural resources. Uncertainty and lack of information can lead to inability to identify and manage complex social-ecological feedbacks and slow change. However scientific information and knowledge, even when present, does not always find its way to policy and when it does – may fail to make any impact. Public policy researchers often stress the ever-present ambiguity, time constraints, lack of access and issue framing as some of the reasons why policy-relevant information may be misinterpreted or ignored. Resilience research recognizes the importance of participation of the broad diversity of stakeholders in the policy process for allowing a broader diversity of knowledge to influence decision-making and better detect and respond to environmental change. Organizing to influence policy, stakeholders may form interest groups that often engage in supplying information to policymakers as one of the ways to influence policy outcomes. Although interest groups undoubtedly contribute to the information flow within the policy process, it is unclear whether they contribute to the diversity of available information or are able to strengthen the link between scientific information and decision-making. Previous empirical research shows that agencies with own capacity to generate own information may ignore organized interests, while the quality and diversity of information provided by interest groups may vary significantly. This paper looks at the case of 2013 EU Common Fisheries Policy reform in order to find how interest group actors have contributed to the flow of issue-relevant information supplied to policymakers during the critical stages of the reform. It analyses interest group position papers, letters and briefings as well as interviews with interest group representatives and policymakers in order to assess the type of information supplied, its source, framing and recipients, aiming to get a broader picture of interest groups’ contribution. The paper finds that interest groups have been using informational lobbying as one of their main strategies during the reform process. Most interest groups have frequently used scientific information, already available to policymakers, in order to support their own framing of the issue.

National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Sustainability Science
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-155106OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-155106DiVA, id: diva2:1197077
Available from: 2018-04-11 Created: 2018-04-11 Last updated: 2018-04-12Bibliographically approved
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Orach, KirillÖsterblom, HenrikSchlüter, Maja
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