Visions of Europe: Breaking the lobbying taboo
In collaboration with the Amsterdam Center for European Studies
In this new episode of the Visions of Europe Lecture Series, Alberto Alemanno will discuss why and how nonprofits, philanthropies, citizen grassroots and ultimately European society should embrace nonprofit lobbying as a privileged yet under-utilised instrument of social and political change.
Lobbying is one of the most effective ways to enact social change. Yet only a handful of nonprofits lobby, and only a few of them know how to actually do it. By sitting quietly and politely on the sidelines, not speaking up for the most disadvantaged, underrepresented people and interests they serve, the nonprofits are forfeiting their right to lobby, thus magnifying the impact of the few who actually do so. This reinforces political inequalities, and further delegitimises lobbying in the eyes of the public. During this Visions of Europe lecture Alberto Alemanno argues that, as political and economic inequalities continue to widen, a new public understanding of lobbying can house and foster a more inclusive, empowered form of participation and democratic experience, mitigating and potentially rebalancing disparities of political power.
The Visions of Europe lecture series brings prominent European policy makers and academics to Amsterdam to address urgent European and global issues.
About the speakers
Alberto Alemanno is Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Law and Policy. Due to his commitment to bridge the gap between academic research and policy action, he has been pioneering new forms of teaching and participatory research, such as the EU Public Interest Law Clinic established by HEC Paris and New York University School of Law. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Risk Regulation (published by Cambridge University Press), a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Consumer Policy, of the Revue du Droit de l'Union Européenne and is the founder of the Lobbying Summer Academy. His research and teaching activities focus on EU Law, democratic innovation and governance, risk regulation as well as regulatory reform. He has published Trade in Food: Regulatory and Judicial Approaches in the EC and the WTO (Cameron May, 2007), Regulating Lifestyle Risks (Cambridge University Press, 2015), Nudge and the Law (Hart, 2015) and Lobbying for Change: Find Your Voice to Create a Better Society (Iconbooks, 2017), and several other books and articles.
Marcel Hanegraaff is an Assistant Professor in Political Science at the University of Amsterdam. He researches the politics of interest representation in a transnational and EU context, as well as on the functioning of international organizations in the fields of climate change and global trade. He recently received a four year Veni grant focussing on the agenda setting power of interest groups in the European Union.
Jonathan Zeitlin (moderator) is Distinguished Faculty Professor of Public Policy and Governance in the Department of Political Science, Academic Director of the Amsterdam Centre for European Studies (ACES), and Director of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the UvA.
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