Corporate coalitions and policy making in the European Union:how and why British American tobacco promoted "better regulation"


Over the past fifteen years, an interconnected set of regulatory reforms, knownas Better Regulation, has been adopted across Europe, marking a significant shift in theway that European Union policies are developed. There has been little exploration of the origins of these reforms, which include mandatory ex ante impact assessment. Drawing on documentary and interview data, this article discusses how and why large corporations, notably British American Tobacco (BAT), worked to influence and promote these reforms. Our analysis highlights (1) howpolicy entrepreneurs with sufficient resources (such as large corporations) can shape the membership and direction of advocacy coalitions; (2) the extent to which "think tanks" may be prepared to lobby on behalf of commercial clients; and (3) why regulated industries (including tobacco) may favor the use of "evidence tools," such as impact assessments, in policy making. We argue that a key aspect of BAT's ability to shape regulatory reform involved the deliberate construction of a vaguely defined idea that could be strategically adapted to appeal to diverse constituencies.We discuss the theoretical implications of this finding for the Advocacy Coalition Framework, as well as the practical implications of the findings for efforts to promote transparency and public health in the European Union.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Centre for Critical Inquiry into Society and Culture (CCISC)
Additional Information: © 2015 by Duke University Press
Uncontrolled Keywords: European union,ideational theory,public health policy,regulatory reform,think tanks,Health Policy
Publication ISSN: 1527-1927
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2024 07:14
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2015 13:45
Full Text Link: http://jhppl.du ... ontent/40/2/325
http://jhppl.du ... b7-430eda3709fe
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2015
Published Online Date: 2015-02-02
Authors: Smith, Katherine Elizabeth
Fooks, Gary (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-0080-4802)
Gilmore, Anna B.
Collin, Jeff
Weishaar, Heide



Version: Accepted Version

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