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Japanese firms in the EU: Europeanization of lobbying strategies and enduring national characteristics

Hamada, Yukihiko; (2007) Japanese firms in the EU: Europeanization of lobbying strategies and enduring national characteristics. Doctoral thesis, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

The number of Japanese firms in Brussels has increased since the creation of the European Single Market. At the same time, large European firms have become independent political actors and harmonized their lobbying pattern, creating a distinctive business-government relationship in the EU. Yet, it still remains to be examined whether Japanese firms are able to utilize their political options and conform to the new EU lobbying style, which features firms’ direct participation within the policymaking process. This thesis, based on four detailed case studies in automobile and electronics sectors, explores the Europeanization of Japanese firms' lobbying strategies, and assesses how they have adapted to the constantly evolving EU public policymaking system. With reference to the actor-based models of interest groups and Europeanization literature, it provides an empirical investigation of interaction between traditional Japanese lobbying practices and the EU institutional environment in forming firms' preferences for particular lobbying strategies. Each case study is based on a number of interviews conducted in Brussels and Tokyo with firms, business associations, and EU institutions. In short, a key objective is to highlight the variations in the Europeanization of Japanese lobbying, with special attention to the firms' embeddedness in traditional business culture. In addition, this thesis seeks to identify the opportunities and constrains that make up the institutional logic of Japanese firms in pursuing a more Japanese or EU type of lobbying practice. Overall, this thesis concludes that Japanese firms have restructured their political behaviours to suit the EU policymaking process. However, the degree of such Europeanization of lobbying strategies has significantly varied across sectors and firms due to ranging influence from several institutional factors. In other words, the underlying nationality of the firm remains the vitally important determinant in the nature of its lobbying strategy formulation, and is much more persistent in the face of Europeanization than existing studies generally assume.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Japanese firms in the EU: Europeanization of lobbying strategies and enduring national characteristics
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English

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