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Polish Business Associations: Flattened Civil Society or Super Lobbies?


  • McMenamin Iain

    (Dublin City University)


This article tests two hypotheses about post-communist business associations. The first predicts weak business associations which are presented with insurmountable collective action problems by the flattened civil society inherited from totalitarianism. According to this hypothesis, no business associations are inherited from the previous regime, and associations are confronted with difficult-to-organize latent groups of large numbers of new small enterprises. The second hypothesis, as proposed by Mancur Olson, predicts strong business associations benefiting from the collective action advantages of the communist economic structure which was composed of small numbers of large enterprises. The hypotheses are tested with case studies of Poland's five most influential business associations. The conclusion is that the flattened civil society hypothesis is best borne out by the evidence. This suggests that, in other countries, political factors, rather than the standard communist economic structure, are more likely to explain the persistence of industrial super lobbies.

Suggested Citation

  • McMenamin Iain, 2002. "Polish Business Associations: Flattened Civil Society or Super Lobbies?," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(3), pages 1-19, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:buspol:v:4:y:2002:i:3:n:3

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    Cited by:

    1. William Pyle, 2005. "Collective Action and Post-Communist Enterprise: The Economic Logic of Russia’s Business Associations," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0521, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    2. Corduneanu-Huci Cristina, 2016. "Taming corruption: rent potential, collective action, and taxability in Morocco," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 18(3), pages 297-335, October.

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