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The Group Politics of Farming

  • Alan R. Ball
  • Frances Millard
Chapter

Abstract

The sphere of agriculture presents its own specific problems for the comparative analysis of pressure groups. There are differences in the legal relationships of people to land, there are vast differences in institutional structures, and there is an array of cross-cutting cleavages within the agricultural sector. In liberal democratic states there are a number of competing interest groups claiming to represent the interests of the farming community, while in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe there is even doubt about the collective consciousness of such interests, and there are few organisations designed to express the views of those engaged in working the land. The opportunities of the peasant community for expressing their views and making demands on the political leadership appear very few indeed in the socialist states, while in liberal democracies farmers are highly politically active and very visible. Thus while in other chapters we have found it useful to compare and contrast the types of groupings and their resources and strategies, in this instance the contrasts are far more fundamental, and similarities are hard to detect. Thus we shall treat the two general categories of liberal democratic and socialist states separately throughout most of this discussion.

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Notes to Chapter 5

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Copyright information

© Alan R. Ball and Frances Millard 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan R. Ball
  • Frances Millard

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