Are responses to official consultations and stakeholder surveys reliable guides to policy actors’ positions?

Ingold, Karin; Varone, Frédéric; Kammerer, Marlene; Metz, Florence; Kammermann, Lorenz; Strotz, Chantal (2019). Are responses to official consultations and stakeholder surveys reliable guides to policy actors’ positions? Policy and politics, 48(2), pp. 193-222. Policy Press 10.1332/030557319X15613699478503

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Policy positions are used extensively to explain coalition formation, advocacy success and policy outputs, and government consultations and stakeholder surveys are seen as important means of gathering data about policy actors’ positions. However, we know little about how accurately official consultations and stakeholder surveys reflect their views. This study compares advocacy organisations’ publicly stated positions in their responses to official consultations with their positions expressed in confidential surveys conducted by the authors. It compares three decision-making processes in Switzerland – in energy, climate and water protection – to analyse responses via two different types of data gathering methods. The results show a substantial divergence between official and private expressions of policy positions. Specific types of policy actors (losers), instruments (persuasive measures) and subsystems (collaborative network) produce more divergent positions. This has important methodological implications for comparative policy studies that use different data gathering methods and focus on different policy domains.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science

UniBE Contributor:

Ingold, Karin Mirjam, Kammerer, Marlene, Kammermann, Lorenz


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science




Policy Press




Fadri Crameri

Date Deposited:

27 Nov 2019 14:43

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:32

Publisher DOI:





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