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A Comparative Political Economy Approach to Farming Interest Groups in Australia and the United States


  • Sean Alley
  • John Marangos


. Commons ([1950] 1970: 34) insisted that “economics should be the science of activity.” In this tradition, the aim of this paper is to investigate the impact of farming interest groups on natural resource policy by using a comparative political economy approach. Special attention will be given to farming interest groups in Australia and the United States. Curiously, each group takes a very different ideological approach to promoting farming interests. Our contention is that each group tends to display values that were prominent during its formation. The ideology and thus behavior of interest groups cannot be isolated from the history, the economic conditions, and the changing alternatives open to individuals. It is very reasonable to argue that two groups with similar goals might pursue different means to the same ends; the different means simply reflect values that were important in the formation of the groups. As such, there might be a concerted effort of the farming interest group, based on history, economic conditions, and custom, to either encourage a higher degree of competition or protect against the degree of competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Sean Alley & John Marangos, 2006. "A Comparative Political Economy Approach to Farming Interest Groups in Australia and the United States," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(3), pages 497-524, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ajecsc:v:65:y:2006:i:3:p:497-524
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1536-7150.2006.00467.x

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kenneth H. Parsons, 1941. "Social Conflicts and Agricultural Programs," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 23(4), pages 743-764.
    2. L. C. Gray, 1913. "The Economic Possibilities of Conservation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(3), pages 497-519.
    3. Galbraith, John Kenneth, 1973. "Power and the Useful Economist," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(1), pages 1-11, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kampmann, Willi & Kirui, Oliver Kiptoo, 2021. "Role of Farmers’ Organizations in Agricultural Transformation in Africa: Overview of Continental, Regional, and Selected National Level Organizations," Working Papers 309358, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).

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