The emergence of interest group politics is one of the decisive factors in democratic transformation in post-communist society. Stephen Padgett argues that evidence from eastern Germany suggests that market transition produces rather open and fluid societies, in which group interests and identities are tenuous. Lacking a supportive social infrastructure, interest groups operate on 'entrepreneurial' lines, a form of associational activity which falls far short of pluralist ideals. With its accelerated transition to a market economy, eastern Germany provides a 'fast-forward' study of an 'advanced post-communist society' which enables us to anticipate the social structures and issues shaping interest-group politics in the newly-democratizing states of east-central Europe. Examining a number of different interest groups, and comparing a number of countries across east-central Europe, this book may also offer a vision of the future of interest-group politics in the West.

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