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Sliding doors in Brussels: A career path analysis of EU affairs managers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

David Coen, Matia Vannoni

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)811-826
Number of pages16
Issue number4
Early online date25 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016



King's Authors


This article investigates the revolving doors phenomenon in the European Union (EU). It proposes a management approach that treats this phenomenon as a form of corporate political activity through which companies try to gain access to decision makers. By using sequence analysis to examine the career paths of almost 300 EU affairs managers based in public and private companies across 26 countries, three different ideal-typical managers are identified: those EU affairs managers coming from EU institutions and public affairs; those who make a career through the private sector; and those who establish themselves in national political institutions. This identification confirms that EU institutions need different types of information and companies need EU affairs managers with different professional backgrounds able to provide it. Rather than observing a revolving door of EU officials into EU government affairs, what the authors term ?sliding doors? ? namely the separation of careers, especially between the public and private sectors ? is discerned.

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