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Argumentation strategies in lobbying: toward a typology

Irina Lock (Institute of Communication Science, Friedrich-Schiller-Universitat Jena, Jena, Germany)
Scott Davidson (Department of Media and Communication, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Article publication date: 29 August 2023




This paper develops a typology of argumentation strategies used in lobbying. Unlike in other strategic communication functions such as crisis or risk communication, such typologies have not been proposed in the sub-field of public affairs.


The article synthesises the strategic communication, political communication and policy studies literature and employs exchange theory to explain the communicative-strategic exchange in public affairs. It showcases its explanatory potential with illustrative examples from Big Tech lobbying.


The paper describes that categories of argumentation strategies that a public affairs professional will choose are based on the contingency of the issue, policy objective and lobbying objective. The descriptive typology will require empirical testing to develop further.

Social implications

The paper describes how public affairs professionals influence public policy through their argumentation strategies, which sheds light on the usually opaque activities of lobbying.


The proposed typology is the first of its kind for the field of public affairs. Beyond, it contributes communication-scientific insights from a rhetorical tradition to strategic communication research and other social science fields where lobbying is studied, e.g. policy studies.



Lock, I. and Davidson, S. (2023), "Argumentation strategies in lobbying: toward a typology", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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