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"Knowledge is Power": Boundaries of Political Consulting and Lobbying in the Political Decision-Making Process

Project lead:

  • Prof. Dr. Michael Minkenberg (Professur für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft, Kulturwissenschaftliche Fakultät, Europa-Universität Viadrina)
  • Dr. Artur Kopka (Kulturwissenschaftliche Fakultät, Europa-Universität Viadrina)
  • Prof. Dr. Dorota Piontek (Institut für Gesellschaftliche Kommunikation, Adam Mickiewicz Universität in Poznań)

Cooperation partners:

  • Hertie School of Governance Berlin
  • Technische Universität Dresden
  • Adam Mickiewicz Universität in Poznań
  • Universität Warschau
  • Niederschlesische Hochschule in Wrocław

Funding institution:

German-Polish Science Foundation and Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation, KPF Euroregion Pro Europa Viadrina


October 2016 - June 2022

Projecte Website since 2020

Project description:

This research project addresses the issue of the delineation of boundaries between scientific political consulting and lobbying as well as their role in the practice of political decision-making. The investigation focuses on the structures and the functionality of political consulting, the realization of the substantial basis for decision-making with special consideration of the boundary between the scientific political consulting and lobbying. Both the boundary between scientific political consulting and lobbying and the standards for the legitimacy and legality of various consulting operations in the policy-making process are central in this research. The project aims at analyzing whether consultants and lobbyists are influencing political decisions. Furthermore it will look at actions and performances of political actors.  Another field of research will be the structures and legal regulations in the area of political consulting, the subject of the consultation, the tasks and procedures as well as the recruitment and communication styles of different consultants.

By taking up a German-Polish comparative perspective, this pilot project also intends to analyze the similarities and differences in the structure and functioning of political consulting and lobbying in Western and Eastern Europe within their historical and cultural contexts. In this way, the relevant issues pertaining to the problems in those fields shall be identified and explained.

The relevance of political consulting is currently increasing, which can be observed in scientific debates and the fact that this topic is newly found on the agendas of East European EU-Member states, where it has not been found in the recent past. The aim of the project is to develop a comparative study, in order to fill this research gap.

This third-party funded project was successfully raised in the frame of the seed money funding of the project development “‘Knowledge is Power’: Boundaries of Political Consulting and Lobbying in the Political Decision-Making Process“.

Conference „Politikberater*innen und Lobbyist*innen im politischen Entscheidungsprozess. Politische Expertenkultur im Vergleich.“ on June 1, 2022 Collegium Polonicum in Słubice (Poland)
more information HERE

Attribution to the fields of inquiry:


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Gefördert aus Mitteln der Deutsch-Polnischen Wissenschaftsstiftung
Projekt finansowany ze środków Polsko-Niemieckiej Fundacji na rzecz Nauki

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Unterstützt durch die Stiftung für Deutsch-Polnische Zusammenarbeit
Projekt wspierany przez Fundację Współpracy Polsko-Niemieckiej

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