Citizen Lobbying As a Systemic Social Force: An Analysis of Spanish Policymaking System.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 09:15
Oral Presentation
Pedro NAVARRO, Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain
Who governs? Who really rules in Spain? Who takes part in public policymaking and who knows it? Spain is formally a democratic system. However, the dominant framework has a lack of transparency and accountability.

This paper presents some results of a study about lobbying and the role of citizens in Spain using a participatory action research and sociocybernetical approach. Theoretically, we consider that lobbies and think tanks are necessary to maintain a proper functioning of the democratic system, if we understand that neither the government nor the civil servants have a monopoly on common sense and knowledge of the subject. However, lobbies concept as an imperfect systemic social force must be reformulated, as we, as a country, don´t have a robust theoretical and normative debate over whether this is good or bad, the general opinion about the phenomenon is mostly critical.

Since the Spanish legal system is probably one of the most decentralized in the world, it allows more possibilities to be lobbied, so a new regulation proposal should analyze not only the national situation but also the regional and local one.

This would show empirically whether this model of participation represents a new approach to concepts such as lobbying or revolving door, analyzing to what extent and modify the participation of new organizations of interests and lobbyists.

The paper is divided in five sections including introduction and conclusions. First we describe the general context. Second we explain a concept developed in comparative law, 'traceability', a sort of legislative footprint as a memory accompanying any legislation in which it would expose everyone who has proposed concepts introduced and who has prevented others from entering. And thirdly, we characterized who´s been lobbying and who´s been lobbied.