Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

INTEREURO - Comparative research on interest group politics in Europe (Slovene)

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.06.00  Social sciences  Political science   

Code Science Field
5.06  Social Sciences  Political science 
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (5)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  03703  PhD Danica Fink Hafner  Political science  Head  2011 - 2014  675 
2.  03704  PhD Mitja Hafner Fink  Sociology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  392 
3.  32506  Matej Knep  Political science  Technical associate  2011 - 2014  35 
4.  22333  PhD Damjan Lajh  Political science  Researcher  2011 - 2014  501 
5.  34730  PhD Meta Novak  Political science  Researcher  2011 - 2014  212 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0582  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences  Ljubljana  1626957  39,467 
Significance for science
The project is theoretically extensive and complexly designed. The research and understanding of interest groups’ role in the European polity and of European policy processes are based on a complex theoretical and empirical background. Our guiding intellectual tenet is the generation and strategic use of information by organized interests and multi-level governance concept. Our understanding of interest groups’ activities over time was based on the theories of Europeanization and democratization and on social constructive framing. In our research, we combined a bottom-up and top-down approach, mezzo and macro levels of analysis and qualitative and quantitative research methods. Our research results, both from a national and a comparative perspective, are especially valuable in the period of reshaping the national system of the coordination of EU affairs and in the period of Slovenia’s full membership in the EU, as Slovenia can actively participate in creating European policies. In the context of developing European policies, the questions of human resource capacity and competence of national officials as well as of interest organisations in the relatively new circumstances of making and implementing European policies, in which enforcement of Slovenian interests is due to absence of national strategy relatively hard and downgraded, are becoming more important. Stakeholders’ meetings, which were organised with representatives of executive and legislative authority and with representatives of civil society and organised interests, turned out to be not only helpful but also necessary in establishing communication channels between state and non-state actors. A neutral environment has been established in which actors can communicate unloaded and address the issues faced in practice. We expect that stakeholders will express a need for collaboration with political science experts in European policy-making in the future. Thus, our research will contribute to: a) understanding the role of Slovenia in European policy-making processes, b) understanding the choice of strategies and activities of interest groups in national venues, c) identification of obstacles to and shortcomings of interest groups’ inclusion in policy-making processes and of the national system of coordination of EU affairs (predominately through organisation of stakeholder meetings and conversations with relevant stakeholders) and d) the visibility of research on interest groups in Slovenia in the international community (especially through foreign publications, presenting research results in the framework of international collaboration with other researchers in the established network, and participation at conferences and workshops). In the framework of European integration, the dissemination of key findings that show similarities and differences between Slovenia and other members and between old and new EU members is very important. The research will also contribute to the following: a) development of Slovenian political science in the area of interest groups’ research, b) understanding the meaning of democratic policy praxis and the inclusion of stakeholders in public policy-making and c) Slovenian political science’s earning greater recognition within the international political science community. The last point will be especially relevant through our close collaboration with foreign research teams that have already enabled continuation of interest groups research through the project “N5-0023 The organizational development of national interests groups in a European comparative perspective (1.10.2014–30.9.2018),’’ in collaboration with two established scholars in the study of interest groups: Dr. Jan Beyers and Dr. William Maloney. We will also earn recognition through publishing research results abroad and participating in international research projects, networks and regional and global political science associations (e.g. ECPR; NISPAcee, CEPSA, ICCP, SPOD).
Significance for the country
In 2014 Slovenia celebrated its tenth anniversary in the European Union. After Slovenia’s formal membership in the EU, European affairs became internalized, domestic matters, by which EU acquis became part of Slovenian legislation. This means that Slovenia can shape and co-create common European policies. For successful promotion of the interests of individual member states in decision-making processes at the EU level, it is especially important that there is appropriate coordination between various stakeholders at the national level. The latter includes various forms of cooperation, particularly between the officials in the executive and legislative branches of government, civil society and experts. The project and its research results will significantly improve the insight and understanding on the coordination of EU affairs, the development of civil society organizations, Slovenia's role in shaping European legislation and the role of stakeholder organizations in the preparation of European legislative proposals, in national position on the European legislative proposals and in the transposition and the implementation of the European legislation. The role of the Slovenian national actors in European policy-making processes has been comprehensively evaluated for the first time from a comparative perspective, comparing older and younger EU member states as well as smaller and larger EU member states. In the system of coordination of EU affairs, the role of Slovenia in the EU policy-making process and the involvement of Slovenian interest organizations in the European legislative process from an international comparative perspective are of most importance at this stage. The research group’s results can contribute to the establishment of communication between the relevant stakeholders, draw attention to the absence of strategy of Slovenia and contribute to the elimination of deficiencies in the system of coordination of EU affairs in Slovenia. The project is also responsible for the internationalization of the research group’s work with the participation of Slovenian groups in all phases of an international research project (project application, preparation of research design, design of measurement instruments, implementing research, design databases, analysis and dissemination), the preparation of co-authored publications, participation in international conferences and ultimately obtaining a new international project, “N5-0023 The organizational development of national interests groups in a European comparative perspective (1.10.2014–30.9.2018),’’ which will contribute to the further internationalization of the Slovenian research group and the international recognition of Slovenian political science.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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