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PhD thesis: The politics of internet privacy regulation in a globalised world. An examination of regulatory autonomy, lobbying strategies, and politicisation.


Antoine, E., Atikcan, O., Chalmers, A., (2023). Politicisation, Business Lobbying, and the Design of Preferential Trade Agreements, Journal of European Public Policy.

Our paper addresses the question of how governments respond to the politicisation of preferential trade agreements (PTA). How have governments responded to business interest mobilisation while negotiating PTAs? Moreover, if there has been an increase in the salience of a trade agreement, has this changed the government response? First, we assess politicisation in terms of the mobilisation patterns of private sector interests during PTA negotiations. Our central argument is that governments liberalise more when a broad range of business interests involving a large number of sectors mobilise in response to trade negotiations, as this would provide legitimacy to their policy positions. Second, we study governments’ reactions to the level of salience of the trade agreement at hand. We argue that governments liberalise less when the agreement in question is highly salient and provokes increased public debate. We take an actor-centred and comparative approach to our research questions and use a novel dataset of 157 PTAs covering the period from 2005 to 2018. Both of our hypotheses are supported by our analysis. Our results also reveal an important difference between PTA ‘depth’ and ‘rigidity’, which are often perceived as closely correlated in assessing trade openness. 

Antoine, E. (2023). The politicisation of internet privacy regulation, European Journal of Political Research, 62, 530-550.

Despite a rich body of literature on politicisation, knowledge of this process and its driving forces remains limited. Specifically, little empirical analysis has been carried out to assess the impact of focusing events on politicisation within global and seemingly technical venues of policy-making. Building on existing studies, I conceptualise politicisation as a combination of three components: (1) issue salience, (2) actor expansion and (3) actor diversity. I test the impact of focusing events on the politicisation of one of the most pressing global policy issues of our age: internet regulation, specifically regarding global data protection and internet privacy rules. I use a systematic analysis of news media coverage over a 20-year period, resulting in an original dataset of 2,100 news articles. Controlling for different factors, my findings reveal that focusing events do contribute to politicisation in technical venues, in particular regarding the actors involved in debates.

Antoine, E., Chalmers, A.W. (2022). Interest Groups and Social Media. In: Harris, P., Bitonti, A., Fleisher, C.S., Binderkrantz, A.S. (eds) The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Interest Groups, Lobbying and Public Affairs. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

This entry presents an overview of the state-of-the-art on the topic of interest groups and social media.

Antoine, E. (2022). Book review: David COEN, Alexander KATSAITIS & Matia VANNONI, Business Lobbying in the European Union, International Review of Public Policy.

Under review and in preparation:

Who’s behind the wheel? Assessing the autonomy of internet regulatory agencies from corporate interests (R&R in Policy & Internet)

Lobbying Global Venues. Sitting in or Speaking out?
This paper receives the Annual Best Paper Award (ECPR Standing Group on Interest Groups, 2023)

Responsiveness or proactiveness? The making of data protection and internet privacy rules

The quality of policymaking in non-majoritarian venues: representation and policy effectiveness

Past and upcoming presentations:

ECPR General Conference 2020, Online.
ECPR General Conference 2022, University of Innsbruck.
80th Annual Midwest Political Science Association Conference, Chicago.
ECPR General Conference 2023, Charles University.


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