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The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation$
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Wolfgang Merkel, Raj Kollmorgen, and Hans-Jürgen Wagener

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829911

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829911.001.0001

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Corporate Actors: Parties and Associations

Corporate Actors: Parties and Associations

Chapter:
(p.426) Chapter 39 Corporate Actors: Parties and Associations
Source:
The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation
Author(s):

Bernhard Weßels

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198829911.003.0039

Corporate actors, like parties and associations, are the organized expression of collective interests in a society. By integrating interests (aggregation) and mediating them (articulation), they figure as a key element of a living democracy. Corporate actors can be distinguished in terms of the territorial and functional dimensions of their representative function. As free societal associations, independent of the state, they operate ideally between citizens and the state. The development of a voluntarily organized intermediary zone between citizens and the state is of vital importance for democratic transformation and consolidation. However, the emergence of voluntarily organized collective actors as a requisite for ‘representative consolidation’ is highly contingent. Whether associations and interest groups form in a political system depends to a high degree on institutional structures. In transformation processes, clear governmental control and sanctioning capacities are conducive to the development of corporate actors.

Keywords:   interest aggregation, interest articulation, functional representation, territorial representation, civil society

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