||In complex, information-rich, and dynamic environments, how do lobbyists know what is going on? Why do they cooperate with each other? Using a variety of data and methods, the book argues that social relationships and trust-based social norms underpin policy interactions and provide benefits in everyday lobbying.
Lobbying is a social process that is a function of, and reproduces, close-knit communities of interest groups. This social process has its own rules and practices that provide tangible benefits to lobbyists, and these norms and practices affect how one engages in advocacy, the mechanics of influence, and the policy making process.
The web of social ties and associated norms of cooperation efficiently provide lobbyists with quality information and reduce their exposure to opportunism. As a result, a significant portion of lobbying consists of the informal provision of a variety of resources and services, including information and interpretation, to other lobbyists and policy makers.
At the same time, social relationships and norms may inhibit participation in the political process by outside actors. Such networks of trust are neither all good nor all bad but are ambivalent: they can both improve policy and fuel collusion.