Beate Kohler-Koch
Not Just a Matter of Resources: Stability and Change in the German System of Business Interest Representation

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Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung: Arbeitspapiere; 175
26 p.
ISSN: 1437-8574

Population change in interest organisations has attracted increased scholarly attention. The change in num bers and composition of groups is likely to have an impact on the functioning of interest representation, but the impact will be limited as long as it is not accompanied by a change in the organisational structure of the system of interest groups. Therefore, the focus is both on change in the population and in the organisational structure of the system of German business associations. We expect that economic conditions will have a major effect on the business organisations’ ability to prosper and survive and will influence their integrative capacity. Based on a unique data set, this article examines the importance of economic context conditions. For the first time the analysis uses economic data that match the domain of the individual associations at sector and sub-sector level. It turns out that economic performance is not a reliable predictor for what has happened to the population of German business associations since the turn of the century and that the structure and functioning of the system remained unchanged.