This chapter introduces Part I of the book, which contains a comprehensive summary of the main results of up-to-date research brought about by looking at five accounts of sectoral processes, namely: collective bargaining, organizations that serve as intermediaries for both capital and labor, social policy, the evolution of governing institutions of the state, and the state of corporate governance and financial markets in Germany before and after unification. The five accounts focus on the institutional structures that affect the outcomes of public policy and the endeavors of attaining collective and individual interests. Structural properties of the institutional settings for the five accounts are discussed. The discussion points out how sectors are experiencing disorganization through decentralization, individualization, ‘segmentalism’, competitive pluralism, and other such processes where market forces replace political decisions.
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