Neo-corporatism and Canadian agricultural interest groups
Shockey, Winston G.
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The organization of interest groups in the Canadian agricultural sector is highly differentiated on the basis of both territory and function. This finding has encouraged some scholars to describe and discuss the structure and operation of the system of interest groups in the Canadian agricultural sector within the framework of a neo-corporatist system of interest representation. They conclude that several elements found within Canadian agricultural sector are elements usually found within a neo-corporatist system of interest representation. They also state that the level of neo-corporatism within this sector was particularly high before the 1982-83 renegotiations of the grain freight rates commonly referred to as the "Crow rate debate". This thesis questions the assertion that neo-corporatist elements exist within the Canadian agricultural sector. In order to do so, this thesis examines the system of interest representation in the Canadian agricultural community prior to 1982 against the background of several indicators of neo-corporatism which have been developed from Philippe Schmitter's definition of neo-corporatism. This thesis argues that the system of interest groups in the Canadian agricultural sector is not neo-corporatist in nature. The thesis also argues that certain characteristics of the agricultural sector, and Canadian political culture in general, create a climate that is hostile to the development of a neo-corporatist system of interest representation.