Lobbying in Europe: Public Affairs and the Lobbying Industry in 28 EU Countries A. Bitonti and P. Harris. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. (2017). ISBN 978‐1‐137‐55255‐6, xxix+368pages

Published date01 November 2018
Date01 November 2018
Edited by A. Bitonti |P. Harris
Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. (2017). ISBN 9781137552556, xxix
It should be apparent to those reading the title of this book that what
it contains is designed to provide an account of lobbying and public
affairs practice within, and across, EU member states, as well as at
the level of the supranational authority. In order to provide the
requisite coverage, and depth of understanding, editors' Alberto
Bitonti and Phil Harris turn to an impressive array of academics and
practitioners across the region. The selection of these contributors
representing as they do, unquestionable understanding of the subject
in various marketsis, ultimately, key to the value of the resulting
countryspecific descriptions provided in the text.
Theory development in the field of public affairs has, in large part,
been dependent on descriptive accounts of practice and, moreover, an
understanding that if we are to adequately account for the opaque
nature of public affairs activity and outcomes, practitioner engage-
ment in the project is essential. Bitonto and Harris, recognising this
necessity, draw no distinction in this volume between academic and
practitioner contribution instead choosing to address an important
inconsistency in the public affairs domain. An inconsistency caused
by the development and nondevelopment of theory in different
markets. In short, certain countries have received considerably more
attention than others and this book addresses the deficiency by
providing an informed introduction to lobbying practice across all
European markets. What stands out, in many ways, is the persistence
and significance of so many countrylevel idiosyncrasies and their
continued relevance to public affairs practice. Something that
should be of immediate interest to any organisation considering pan
European strategic communications activity.
Situated between chapters on lobbying and public affairs in
Europe, the role of lobbying in the modern democracy, and a look at
the institutional development and public affairs composition of the
EU, the book is mainly comprised of individual chapters devoted to
public affairs practice in each of the 28 EU member states. Typically,
these chapters provide descriptions of the political system, the state
of development of the public affairs industry, specific regulatory or
institutional constraints affecting the industry, a description of instru-
ments and practices, profiles of lobbyists, and industry bodies, as well
as suggestions as to what the future holds for public affairs practice in
that country. Taken together, and complementing discussion of lobby-
ing of the EU, this book provides the most comprehensive snapshot of
present day public affairs practice across the region currently
The book is well structured, easy to navigate, and highly
accessible. It should be of interest to public affairs practitioners and
academics alike and will almost certainly establish itself as a core
resource on many public affairs/lobbying related courses.
Ian Richardson
Director of Executive Education, Stockholm Business School, Stockholm
Received: 8 May 2018 Accepted: 8 May 2018
DOI: 10.1002/pa.1835
J Public Affairs. 2018;18:e1835.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/pa 1of1

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