Connecting the cabinet with the private: ministers’ agendas and interest groups linkage in Spain

Autor principal:
Iván Medina Iborra (Universitat de València)
Juan Rodríguez Teruel (Universitat de València)
José Real Dato (Universidad de Almería)
Sesión 2, Sesión 2
Día: miércoles, 7 de septiembre de 2022
Hora: 12:30 a 14:15
Lugar: Aula 061

This paper aims to shed more light on a fundamental aspect of executive’s activity, namely, ministerial linkage to interest groups. While some recent works have focused on ministerial agenda-setting power or ministers’ condition for policymaking, we know less how cabinet ministers employ their own individual agenda to advance their policy initiatives or strengthen their connections with interest groups. Besides, several studies show how these interest groups attempt to build linkage with parliamentary representatives and government members in order to get privileged access to channels of policymaking and to better defend their economic goals. Hence, while some ministers tend t build a wide network of contacts with different groups, other prefer to focus on the main private representatives of their policy area. Besides, some ministers may spend an important amount of time on this relational activity, while other are more strategical and chose to concentrate their meetings in specific time periods of the government’s life-span.

In order to explore this connection between cabinets and interest groups, our paper will analyse ministers’ agendas in order to observe who and how often they officially meet with private groups. Using data from minister’s public agendas in Spain between 2010 and 2022, we build a theoretical and empirical model to explain these connections. In particular, we test the effect of some individual drivers (related to ministerial and political careers) on the number of meetings held with interest groups, the type of groups and the variety of economic representatives. Our research design combines data on individual ministers of the Spanish national governments compiled by the authors, and available data of minister’s agenda.

Palabras clave: ministros; gobiernos; grupos de interés