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10 Comp. Pol. Stud. 3 (1977-1978)

handle is hein.journals/compls10 and id is 1 raw text is: 


T his collection   of essays represents an unfortunately rare example of
      spontaneous  international collaborative research. Its contributors
formed  and joined-completely  without external inducements  and often
without  their initially knowing it-an informal, nonspatial, unfunded
working  group on interest politics and policy-making in highly industri-
alized, advanced capitalist societies.
   First by the course of their independent inquiry, gradually by their
knowledge   of each  other's work,  eventually by  individual personal
contacts, and finally by their participation in a panel of the International
Political Science Association (Edinburgh, August 1976) on Modes  and
Models  of Interest Representation,' the working  group  has acquired
some  consciousness  and  form-but   as yet  no  material resources or
authority structure of its own. One of the authors in this volume, Leo
Panitch, was only discovered to be a member   by virtue of a paper he
presented  at the American  Political Science Association meetings one
month  later (September 1976). He has since been enthusiastically coopted
along with  his essay on The  Development   of Corporatism  in Liberal
   The  reader of these essays will discover that, despite this fortunate
convergence of effort, the authors are by no means in complete agreement
with respect to conceptual usage, substantive finding, causal inference, or
normative  preference. The  recentness and  tentativeness of their joint
endeavor  has by  no means  inhibited their capacity for criticizing each
other, quite the contrary. This is no mutual admiration society, and it
does  not offer the reader a self-satisfied, completely elaborated theory-
cum-formula  for the analysis of interest politics in the First World.
   What  the volume does offer is a strong criticism-at times explicit and
at times implicit-of the heretofore dominant way of conceptualizing the
activities of interest groups, the pluralist model, and of the style of
empirical research which  has prevailed in this field, that of ahistorical,
self-contained, configurative description. Beyond this negative contri-
bution,  the volume  seeks to establish the positive foundations for an
alternative problematique. Its authors agree that  explanation of con-
temporary   patterns of interest politics in Western Europe demands  a
@1977  Sage Publications, Inc.

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