Transformation Narratives and The Impact of Corporate Lobbying: The Politics of Performance

  • Kim Blomley

Student thesis: Masters ThesisMPhil


This study begins by outlining two narratives that offer explanations of transformations in politics from the end of the Cold War to the present day. These are principally: the End of Politics and the rise of corporate colonisation; the Reinvention of Politics and the rise of civil society; and from these a third transformation is presented which is a synthesis and enhancement of these propositions. This is the Politics of Performance and highlights the previously deficient exposition of the impact of British corporate lobbying. As corporate lobbying is carried out by paid advocates, the incentive to engage in politics is not mobilised by a belief or ideology. This is essential to the professionalisation of lobbying and is also the foundation for the narrative’s twin pillars that hold up the Politics of Performance edifice: the projection of an argument, a presentation-performance; and the ability to deliver this persuasively and secure a favourable outcome, an achievement-performance. The Politics of Performance builds on the ideas of delegation, simulation and role-playing over accountability, authenticity and substance in democratic engagement. In support of the theoretical arguments, the narrative is also assessed in practice by considering the impact of corporate lobbying in two UK case studies. These revolve around how the motor industry reduced the financial impact of the European Union’s End-of-Life Directive 2001-2002; and how the information technology sector enthused the UK Home Office to include specifications that significantly increased cost into the design of the UK identity card proposal 2002-2006. These form the centrepiece of this study and show how corporate lobbying develops a particular presentation of the business perspective and can secure a more favourable outcome for its patrons.
Date of Award1 Dec 2010
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorIngolfur Bluhdorn (Supervisor)

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