InterCov Project

The Coronavirus crisis has exerted a major social and economic shock in countries worldwide. Both the pandemic itself, as well as the crisis management policies resulting from it, could entail big changes for the representation of different social and economic interests in public policy. The Interest Representation during the Coronavirus Crisis (InterCov) Project was initiated in May 2020 with the aim of assessing these effects of Covid-19 on interest representation and political advocacy.

How did interest groups and companies represent their political interests during the Coronavirus crisis? How has this crisis affected their ability to mobilise, and express their views and needs to decision-makers? Who did decision-makers listen to? What forms of support have governments offered to interest groups and have have these impacted the organisations' stability?

Our team collected data from politically active interest groups and companies in ten polities in Europe, namely in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy, France, and at the European Union (EU)-level. From early June to mid-July 2020, a first online survey was conducted among ca. 6.000 organisations and large firms to assess the short-term effects of the crisis. From late June to early August 2021 we conducted a second survey to collect data on medium - to long terms effects of the pandemic.

About the Surveys

Suggested citation: 

Junk, W.M., M., Crepaz, M., Hanegraaff, J., Berkhout, E., Aizenberg (2020). Interest Representation during the Corona Virus Crisis: Results from the European Union and Nine European Countries. Summary Report)

For an overview of all survey questions, please see our general codebook.

Survey 1

Survey 2

Suggested citation: 

Junk, W.M., M., Crepaz, M., Hanegraaff, J., Berkhout, E., Aizenberg (2020). InterCov Project: Online Survey on Interest Representation during Covid-19. First Edition : June – July 2020.

Junk, W.M., M., Crepaz, M., Hanegraaff, J., Berkhout, E., Aizenberg (2020). InterCov Project: Online Survey on Interest Representation during Covid-19. Second Edition : June – August 2021.

Project Outputs

Berkhout, J., Crepaz, M., Hanegraaff, M. & Junk, W. M. (2023). Online focus groups as a tool to study policy professionals. Research & Politics. Open Access.

Junk, W.M., M., Crepaz, and E., Aizenberg (2023). Fight or flight? How access barriers and interest disruption affect the activities of interest organisations. European Journal of Political Research. Open Access.

Junk, W. M., Berkhout, J., Crepaz, M., & Hanegraaff, M. (2023). Advocacy intelligence and competition: Assessing lobbyists' sharing of tactical knowledge in focus group interviews. Governance. Open Access.

Crepaz, M., Junk, W. M., M. Hanegraaff & J. Berkhout (2022). Viral Lobbying: Strategies, Access and Influence During the COVID-19 Pandemic. De Gruyter: Berlin. Open Access.

Crepaz, M., M. Hanegraaff, W. M. Junk (2022). Is there a first mover advantage in lobbying? A comparative analysis of how the timing of mobilization affects the influence of interest organizations in 10 polities. Comparative Political Studies. Open Access.

Junk, W. M., M. Crepaz, M. Hanegraaff, J. Berkhout & E. Aizenberg (2021). Changes in Interest Group Access in Times of Crisis: No Pain, No (Lobby) Gain. Journal of European Public Policy. Open Access. 

Junk, W. M., and M. Crepaz. New evidence shows Coronavirus crushed citizen groups across Europe. On 3Streams Blog

In the future, the project team will make other project outcomes and research outlets available here.

Talks and Events

Book Launch Event of Viral Lobbying at Maastricht University Brussels Campus, November 2022. Podcast available 

Paper presentations at the General Conference of the PSAI, October 2022

Paper presentations at the ECPR General Conference (European Consortium for Political Research), August 2021 and 2022

Contribution to Webinar 'Lobbying in Times of Covid-19', Maastricht University Brussels Campus

Invited Talk "Lobbying in Times of Covid-19", SDU Politikuge, February 2021

Mini-conference in cooperation with the Public Relations Institute of Ireland, November 2020

Talk about the InterCov project at the Danish Public Affairs Rud Pedersen, November 2020

Series of Webinars on the Survey Report, October 2020

Project team

Wiebke Marie Junk, Assistant Professor, University of Copenhagen

Michele Crepaz, VC's Illuminate Fellow, Queen's University Belfast

Marcel Hanegraaff, Associate Professor, University of Amsterdam

Joost Berkhout, Associate Professor, University of Amsterdam

Ellis Aizenberg, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Amsterdam