The Group Politics of Farming

  • Alan R. Ball
  • Frances Millard


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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes to Chapter 5

  1. 2.
    J. T. S. Keeler, ‘The Corporatist Dynamic of Agricultural Modernization in the Fifth Republic’, in W. G. Andrews and S. Hoffman (eds) The Fifth Republic at Twenty (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1981) p. 279.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    G. K. Wilson, Special Interests and Policy Making. Agricultural Policies in Britain and the United States 1956–70 (New York: Wiley, 1977) p. 3.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Alec Nove, ‘Agriculture’, in Martin McCauley (ed.) The Soviet Union After Brezhnev (London: Heinemann Educational Books, 1983) p. 82.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Lewis A. Fischer, ‘Agriculture and Rural Development’, in Stephen Fischer-Galati (ed.) Eastern Europe in the 1980s (London: Croom Helm, 1981) p. 33.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Graham Wootton, Pressure Politics in Contemporary Britain (Lexington, Mass.: Heath Books, 1978) p. 126.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    G. K. Wilson, Interest Groups in the United States (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981) pp. 21–2. Wilson questions Olson’s thesis that pressure groups chiefly attract members by offering services such as cheaper insurance; but Olson does receive some support from a study of the DBV: see E. Andrlik, ‘The Farmers and the State: Agricultural Interests in West German Politics’, West European Politics, vol. 4, no. 1, January 1981, pp. 105–6.Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    See D. McKay, American Politics and Society (Oxford: Martin Robertson, 1983) p. 230.Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    For the changed attitude of the Mitterrand government to FNSEA see S. Sokoloff, ‘Socialism and the Farmers’, in P. G. Cerny and M. A. Schain (eds) Socialism, the State and Public Policy in France (London: Frances Pinter, 1985) chapter 12.Google Scholar
  9. 12.
    Jack Hayward, Governing France (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1983) pp. 64–5.Google Scholar
  10. 15.
    Keeler, p. 280; Sally Sokoloff, ‘Rural Change and Farming Politics: A Terminal Peasantry’, in P. C. Cerny and M. A. Schain (eds) French Politics and Public Policy (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1980) pp. 232–3. These views should be contrasted with that of W. F. Averyt Jr, Agropolitics in the European Community. Interest Groups and the Common Agricultural Policy (New York: Praeger, 1977) p. 30.Google Scholar
  11. 16.
    For a different view of the importance of the US farming vote see M. J. C. Vile, Politics in the USA (London: Hutchinson, 1984, 3rd edn) p. 124.Google Scholar
  12. 17.
    M. S. Lewis-Beck, ‘The Electoral Politics of the French Peasantry 1946–78’, Political Studies, vol. 19, no. 4, December 1981, pp. 517–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 18.
    P. Self and H. J. Storing, The State and the Farmer (London: Allen & Unwin, 1962) pp. 192–204.Google Scholar
  14. 21.
    See H. Wallace, ‘The formal structure and policy-making process in relation to agricultural decision making in Britain and the EEC’, in The Open University, D203 Decision making in Britain, Block III, Part 5 (Milton Keynes: The Open University Press, 1975) pp. 129–150.Google Scholar
  15. 26.
    See Wyn Grant, ‘The National Farmers’ Union: The Classic Case of Incorporation?’ in D. Marsh (ed.) Pressure Politics. Interest Groups in Britain (London: Junction Books, 1983) chapter 5; see also Sokoloff, ‘Socialism and the Farmers’, chapter 12.Google Scholar
  16. 27.
    D. L. Hanley et al., Contemporary France. Politics and Society since 1945 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979) p. 184.Google Scholar
  17. 28.
    J. R. Peters, ‘The 1981 Farm Bill’, Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science, vol. 34, no. 3, September 1982, p. 170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 30.
    David Lane, Politics and Society in the USSR (London: Martin Robertson, 1978, 2nd edn) p. 235.Google Scholar
  19. 31.
    Theodore H. Friedgut, ‘Interests and Groups in Soviet Policy-Making: The MTS Reforms’, Soviet Studies, vol. XXVIII, vo. 4, October 1976, p. 531.Google Scholar
  20. 32.
    Werner G. Hahn, The Politics of Soviet Agriculture 1960–1970 (London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1972).Google Scholar
  21. 33.
    Richard Mills, ‘The Virgin Lands Since Khrushchev: Choices and Decision-Making in Soviet Policy’, in Paul Cocks et al., The Dynamics of Soviet Politics (London: Harvard University Press, 1976) p. 183.Google Scholar
  22. 34.
    John W. Cole, ‘Family, Farm, and Factory: Rural Workers in Contemporary Romania’, in Daniel Nelson (ed.) Romania in the 1980s (Boulder: Westview Press, 1981) pp. 71–116;Google Scholar
  23. Trond Gilberg, ‘Romanian Agricultural Policy in Quest of “the Multilaterally Developed Society”’, in Ronald Francisco et al., Agricultural Policies in the USSR and Eastern Europe (Boulder: Westview Press, 1980) pp. 137–64.Google Scholar
  24. 35.
    See David Schoonover, ‘Soviet Agricultural Policies’, in Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress, Soviet Economy in a Time of Change (Washington: US Government Printing Office, 1979) vol. 2, pp. 87–115; also Gilberg.Google Scholar
  25. 36.
    Zbigniew Brzezinski and Samuel Huntington, Political Power: USA/USSR (New York: Viking Press, 1965, paperback edn) p. 310.Google Scholar
  26. 37.
    Grey Hodnett, ‘Technology and Social Change in Soviet Central Asia. The Politics of Cotton Growing’, in Henry Morton and Rudolf Tokes (eds) Soviet Politics and Society in the 1970s (New York: The Free Press, 1974) p. 85.Google Scholar
  27. 38.
    Quoted in Dyzma Galaj, ‘The Polish Peasant Movement in Politics: 1895–1969’, in H. Landsberger (ed.) Rural Protest. Peasant Movements and Social Change (London: Macmillan, 1974) p. 339.Google Scholar
  28. 39.
    Paul Lewis, ‘The Peasantry’, in David Lane and George Kolankiewicz (eds) Social Groups in Polish Society (London: Macmillan, 1973) p. 54.Google Scholar
  29. 40.
    Andrzej Korbonski, ‘Victim or Villain: Polish Agriculture since 1970’, in Maurice Simon and Roger Kanet (eds) Background to Crisis: Policy and Politics in Gierek’s Poland (Boulder: Westview Press, 1981) p. 285.Google Scholar
  30. 43.
    See Timothy Garton Ash, The Polish Revolution. Solidarity 1980–82 (London: Jonathan Cape, 1983) pp. 110–34 for an eyewitness account of the situation in Rzeszow. On Rural Solidarity generally see Andrzej Korbonski, ‘Agriculture and the Polish Renewal’, in Jack Bielasiak and Maurice D. Simon (eds) Polish Politics. Edge of the Abyss (New York: Praeger, 1984) pp. 84–8.Google Scholar
  31. 44.
    Jaroslaw Piekalkiewicz, Public Opinion Polling in Czechoslovakia, 1968–69 (London: Praeger, 1972) pp. 309–12.Google Scholar
  32. 45.
    Ibid., pp. 313–19.Google Scholar
  33. 46.
    H. Gordon Skilling, Czechoslovakia’s Interrupted Revolution (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976) p. 586.Google Scholar
  34. 47.
    Ibid., pp. 585–92;Google Scholar
  35. see also Vladimir Kusin, Political Grouping in the Czechoslovak Reform Movement (London: Macmillan, 1972) chapter 2.Google Scholar
  36. 48.
    Peter Toma and Ivan Volgyes, Politics in Hungary (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman & Co., 1977) p. 69.Google Scholar
  37. 49.
    William Robinson, The Pattern of Reform in Hungary (London: Praeger, 1973) p. 236.Google Scholar
  38. 50.
    Stephen White, John Gardner and George Schopflin, Communist Political Systems: An Introduction (London: Macmillan, 1982) p. 198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 51.
    Rudolf Tokes, ‘Hungarian Reform Imperatives’, Problems of Communism, vol. XXXIII, no. 5, September–October 1984, p. 17.Google Scholar
  40. 52.
    A. E. and J. S. Adams, quoted in Paul Lewis, ‘Potential Sources of Opposition in the East European Peasantry’, in Rudolf Tokes (ed.) Opposition in Eastern Europe (London: Macmillan, 1979) p. 284.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Alan R. Ball and Frances Millard 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan R. Ball
  • Frances Millard

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations