Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

A Matter of Information, Discussion and Consequences? Exploring the Accountability Practices of Interest Groups in the EU

Lookup NU author(s): Professor William Maloney



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Palgrave Macmillan Ltd., 2021.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Interest groups are perceived as vehicles that can enhance the legitimacy of public institutions at the national and supranational level. However, the potential of these organizations to enhance democratic representation is often questioned and has rarely been systematically analysed. In this article we examine the under-researched area of interest groups accountability, a key component for groups to realize their democratic potential. To do this, we take an organization-centric and top-down perspective and develop a tailored analytical framework including three key dimensions – information, discussion and consequences. Drawing on data from a large-scale survey of interest groups active at the EU level, we find considerable variation in the extent to which groups demonstrate practices related to these three accountability dimensions. Furthermore, while receiving funding from EU institutions does not have any significant effect on interest group accountability, we find that organizations representing businesses interests more frequently develop accountability practices related to the dimensions of discussion and consequences, whereas citizen groups are more focussed on the information dimension.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Fraussen B, AlbaredaSanz A, Braun C, Maloney WA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Interest Groups & Advocacy

Year: 2021

Volume: 10

Pages: 114-136

Print publication date: 01/06/2021

Online publication date: 06/03/2021

Acceptance date: 08/02/2021

Date deposited: 18/02/2021

ISSN (print): 2047-7414

ISSN (electronic): 2047-7422

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.


DOI: 10.1057/s41309-021-00116-1


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric