Skip to main content

Corporatism

Corporatism

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Corporatism is a system of interest intermediation in which vertically organized and functionally defined interest groups are granted official representation in the state policymaking apparatus. Corporatism is usefully contrasted with pluralism, a system in which interest groups openly compete with one another to gain access to the state. Under corporatist systems, groups such as labor and business are represented to the state by peak associations, which tend to be subsidized by the state. Other labor and business associations must thus work through these peak associations to gain access to the policymaking process. The major dilemma of corporatism is the balance between the autonomy and state control of interest groups.

Through the mid-twentieth century, corporatism was associated with the systems of interest intermediation found in Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. In the 1960s and 1970s, however, debate emerged over whether European industrial democracies were also characterized by corporatist arrangements. By the late 1970s, scholars had agreed that corporatism could indeed exist within democratic frameworks. They called this system liberal or neocorporatism, contrasting it with the state corporatism of earlier periods.

In the European democracies, corporatism was understood as either a response to or an accommodation of industrial capitalism. Neocorporatist systems allowed governments to facilitate consensus over economic policy by bringing together interest groups with significant stakes in the future of economic policy to negotiate with one another in a formal setting. In doing this, corporatist systems implicitly limited who would have the most influential voices in the economic policymaking processand, as a result, helped shape the contours of the debate. For example, the Austrian Joint Commission on Prices and Wagesa corporatist arrangement that included the three largest agriculture, business, and labor associations in the countrywas formed in 1957 to consider the future of Austrian economic policy. Sweden and Switzerland also developed particularly strong neocorporatist systems.

At the same time, scholars of the developing world generallyand Latin America particularlywere observing corporatist systems under nondemocratic regimes. In these nondemocratic polities, corporatism tended more toward a means of political control than a means of building consensus. That is, these corporatist arrangements were designed more to co-opt potentially disruptive political actors than to provide a forum for policy discussion and debate. In authoritarian Mexico, for example, labor and peasant groups engaged the state through peak associations that were heavily subsidized by the government. By creating this system of corporatist intermediation, the Mexican government could co-opt and control powerful social actors that had been influential in the early years of the Mexican Revolution. Brazil in the 1930s and Argentina in the 1940s also developed corporatist systems.

Though the early 1990s witnessed some debate over the possibility of new corporatist arrangements in the post-Soviet bloc, corporatism is no longer as frequently invoked as it was in earlier decadesdue in large part to the current dominance of pluralist political and economic models of governance. Nonetheless, corporatism remains a viable alternative form of interest intermediation, should pluralist models of interest intermediation meet significant challenges.

SEE ALSO Authoritarianism; Elites; Fascism; Interest Groups and Interests; Nazism; Politics; Power Elite

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Collier, David. 1995. Trajectory of a Concept: Corporatism in the Study of Latin American Politics. In Latin America in Comparative Perspective: New Approaches to Methods and Analysis, ed. Peter H. Smith, 135162. Boulder, CO: Westview.

Schmitter, Philippe C., and Gerhard Lehmbruch, eds. 1979. Trends Toward Corporatist Intermediation. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

William T. Barndt

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Corporatism." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Corporatism." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/corporatism

"Corporatism." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. . Retrieved May 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/corporatism

corporative state

corporative state, economic system inaugurated by the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini in Italy. It was adapted in modified form under other European dictatorships, among them Adolf Hitler's National Socialist regime in Germany and the Spanish regime of Francisco Franco. Although the Italian system was based upon unlimited government control of economic life, it still preserved the framework of capitalism. Legislation of 1926 and later years set up 22 guilds, or associations, of employees and employers to administer various sectors of the national economy. These were represented in the national council of corporations. The corporations were generally weighted by the state in favor of the wealthy classes, and they served to combat socialism and syndicalism by absorbing the trade union movement. The Italian corporative state aimed in general at reduced consumption in the interest of militarization. See fascism.

See R. Sarti, Fascism and the Industrial Leadership in Italy, 1919–1940 (1971).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"corporative state." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"corporative state." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/corporative-state

"corporative state." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved May 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/corporative-state

corporatism

corporatism See CORPORATE SOCIETY.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"corporatism." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"corporatism." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/corporatism

"corporatism." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Retrieved May 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/corporatism