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Conceptualizing consultation approaches

Bert Fraussen, Assistant Professor at Leiden University, Adrià Albareda, a PhD candidate at Leiden University and Caelesta Braun, Associate Professor at Leiden University, identified combinations of consultation tools and analyzed their implications for stakeholder diversity.

Bert Fraussen, Adria Albareda, Caelesta Braun
25 April 2020

Contemporary governance is increasingly characterized by the consultation of different types of stakeholders. Previous research has demonstrated that public officials use a variety of tools to involve these actors in policymaking. Yet, we have limited knowledge on how particular consultation approaches relate to stakeholder participation. 

To what extent do open, closed and hybrid consultation approaches, with the first two, respectively, referring to the use of public and targeted tools, and the third one implying a combination of both of them, relate to the policy engagement of a different set of stakeholders? In this paper, we identify the different tools used by the European Commission to engage stakeholders in policymaking and assess how variation in consultation approaches relates to stakeholder participation via a descriptive and multivariate analysis. We rely on two datasets: a regulatory database that contains detailed information on 41 EU regulations and a stakeholder database that comprises 2617 stakeholders that were involved in these regulations through different consultation tools. Our main finding is that implementing different consultation approaches affects stakeholder diversity. Specifically, closed consultation approaches lead to a lower level of business dominance than hybrid approaches that combine open and targeted consultation tools.

To read the full research, click here.

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