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Origins of the term lobbying

Lobbying as a concept dates back to 1553, when in the Oxford Dictionary the word lobbying was first included.  At that time it meant the connecting passageways, usually in monasteries.  They opened into doors leading to different rooms, galleries, quiet corners, which became the meeting place for the dwellers of the monastery with interested people of the “outside world.”  Monasteries at that time exerted quite a power beyond the walls of the religious edifice.

The first historically listed date of the a “politicization” of the  term – was 1640, at which time lobby became known as the place around the meeting rooms in the building of the House of Commons of the British Parliament.

As a part of Anglo Saxon political culture, the given term travelled across the ocean and had its second incarnation during the establishment of American statehood.  Therefore, one of the authors of the U.S. Constitution, who eventually served as president, James Madison mentions the termlobby in his speeches.  He described it in No. 10 of The Federalist Papers as a group of citizens, belonging either to the majority or the minority, who are united by similar interests that oppose the interests of other citizens.  In 1808 the term lobbying was fixed in the stenographic record of the debates of the U.S. Congress, 10th session.  Mainly that term described the group of people who tried, in whatever way possible, to influence the lawmakers beyond the halls of the American Congress.

Today the notion of lobbying has become an official term in USA, Great Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Georgia, Poland, Lithuania, Hungary as well as in the official acts of European of the European Union, European Council and the model law of the CIS.



1. Нестерович В.Ф. Етимологія та феномен поняття «лобіювання»: гносеологічний вимір // Бюлетень Міністерства юстиції України. – 2010. – № 1. – С. 40-51.
2. Нестерович В.Ф. Основні підходи до визначення поняття «лобіювання»// Вісник Луганського державного університету внутрішніх справ імені Е.О. Дідоренка. – 2010. – № 1. – С. 50-58.
3. Українська дипломатична енциклопедія, том 1, СС. 738-739