Grant Jordan

in The Oxford Handbook of British Politics

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780199230952
Published online January 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations


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This article suggests that lobbying has a functional utility within modern polyarchies. British lobbying is best seen as typically attempting to modify public policy in specialist policy debates through persuasion and information. Various types of lobbyist are discussed. The article also addresses the development of professional persuasion. Arguably the press coverage of controversies shows the ‘corruption of lobbying’ rather than that lobbying is inherently corrupt. Moreover, the content of lobbying is investigated. Ivory Tower and Insider Politics are two broad benchmarks against which lobbying may be judged. By the first benchmark lobbying is some dangerous distortion of democracy, but in the second it becomes de facto a contribution to a sort of ersatz democracy. It is noted that lobbying is less controversial in the UK political system if the processes are accepted as being based on a search for consensus by policy-makers.

Keywords: British lobbying; polyarchies; Ivory Tower; Insider Politics; UK political system; professional persuasion; public policy

Article.  7597 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; UK Politics

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