IP in the Corridors of Power: A study of lobbying, its impact on the development of intellectual property law, and the implications for the meaning of democracy

  • Ben Adamson

Student thesis: Phd


This thesis demonstrates that, while generally seen as a non-democratic activity, lobbying should in fact be viewed as an important part of democratic policymaking, providing valuable input into law and policy, particularly in areas where expertise is at a premium. Constructing a theoretical model of democracy and using the field of intellectual property as a focal point, the role of private actors is examined across a series of case studies: the 2011 Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth, the 2010 Digital Economy Act, and the proposed 2002 EU Computer Implemented Inventions Directive. Each case study is based upon a combination of secondary sources and the first-hand experiences of certain actors involved and in each case the lobbying activity is critically evaluated in light of the features and normative conditions of the democratic model. This study ultimately shows both the positive aspects and negative aspects of lobbying from a democratic viewpoint, noting that the importance of stakeholder input into the law and policy that will affect those stakeholders is essential. It also shows, however, that equality of access to, and influence over, policymakers is far from satisfactory and that until such inequalities can be resolved, lobbying cannot be fully justified under my model of democracy.
Date of Award31 Dec 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorDavid Booton (Supervisor) & Carolyn Abbot (Supervisor)


  • digital economy act
  • Computer Implemented Inventions Directive
  • CII directive
  • Hargreaves review
  • governance
  • lobbying
  • patents
  • copyright
  • intellectual property
  • democracy

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