The Internationalization of European Financial Networks: A Quantitative Text Analysis of EU Consultation Responses


Regulatory initiatives are frequently shaped by the ability of the financial industry to build alliances across the wider business community. Yet comparative and international political economy scholarship remains divided over how to explain the resulting networks of financial lobbying. Using quantitative text analysis of 8000 responses to EU financial regulatory consultations between 2010 and 2018, we map patterns of lobbying coordination based on co-signing and text re-use in consultation responses for the first time. This unique dataset is used to analyse hitherto hidden patterns of domestic and cross-border coordination by financial organizations within and between European countries. We find that while distinctive national lobbying networks persist at the country level, the internationalization of financial actors is statistically associated with the formation of coordination ties with foreign financial actors. This suggests that European financial integration has facilitated the emergence of new cross-border alliances which complement – rather than substitute for – existing domestic financial interest coalitions. We argue that the text-as-data approach employed here makes an important new contribution to scholarship on business power and the political economy of Europe.

Review of International Political Economy, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp. 898-925, DOI: 10.1080/09692290.2020.1779781