This volume focuses on the role of organised civil society in European public policies.
The contributions discuss the role of public pressure groups and their relations with organised business and institutional actors.
They consider the role of interest groups towards providing the EU policy process with both input legitimacy (the ability of wider civil society to participate in EU decision-making and the consequential legitimacy which could arise from it) and output legitimacy (the effectiveness of the results of EU decision-making and the corresponding legitimacy which arises).
The contributors examine the context of interest representation in EU institutions, reviewing the operating modalities, functions and opportunities of EU lobbies and public interest groups in several policy areas.
These include environmental policy and the impact of environmental social movements and anti-racist policy in the broader context of anti-discrimination policy.
Also examined are the territorial dimensions of EU policy and the related debate on social capital and the contributions of different policies to its formation and maintenance. Several contributions suggest that policy-making emerges from a fragmented coalition of NGOs, politicians and civil servants operating in connected but distinct regulative environments.
Various conceptions of the scope and content of policies are debated in a context which involves different actors and their changing definitions of goals.
Altogether these conceptions give identity and professionalism to the relevant policy network, but in a fragmented and contested fashion.
The volume relates to the interests of policy analysts, political sociologists and political philosophers interested in issues of legitimacy and representation in the European Union.