The changing politics of organised interests
Title: The changing politics of organised interests
Author: SCHMITTER, Philippe C.
Citation: West European politics, 2008, 31, 1-2, 195-210
Since the mid-1970s, Western European politics have undergone significant changes - and this has been particularly marked in the arena of 'interest politics'. In this article I list some apodictic statements about these changes and speculate about their potential explanations. To the extent that these descriptive generalisations have some accuracy and that the potential explanations have some validity, we can then conclude that the hegemony of political parties is declining. This is not to say that parties will be replaced by either associations or movements. These three forms of representation are not locked into a zero-sum game. In the past, they have grown together and supported each other. Nothing says that they cannot also decline together in the present. What we can say, however, is that there has been a generalised loosening of the links between interests and organisations.
Subject: Interest groups; Political representation; Social movements; Political parties; State-society relations; Populism; Collective action; Political attitudes
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