Explaining interest group litigation in Europe: Evidence from the comparative interest group survey
New article by Daniel Naurin and Andreas Hofmann in Governance.
Litigation has long been a part of interest groups' lobbying tactics in the U.S. In Europe, by contrast, taking political conflicts to court has traditionally been viewed with skepticism. However, in the wake of an increasing judicialization of politics in Europe, litigation has also become part of the toolbox of European interest groups. Using original survey data from five European countries, we study how they use that tool. We show that European interest groups go to court somewhat less often than their American counterparts, but that the groups that do end up in court have similar characteristics. Overall, we find that the more politically active and resourceful a group is, the more likely it is to turn to the courts. However, a subset of politically active groups, one that deploys distinct outsider tactics, is more likely to use litigation than the rest. Government funding, however, reduces groups' propensity to litigate.
Daniel Naurin is Professor in political science at PluriCourts and director at ARENA Centre for European Studies at the University of Oslo. Dr. Andreas Hofmann is researcher at Center for European integration at Freie Universität Berlin.