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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Pluralist Paradox: The Decline of Economic Interest Groups in Zambia in the 1990s
Author:Rakner, Lise
Year:2001
Periodical:Development and Change
Volume:32
Issue:3
Period:June
Pages:521-543
Language:English
Geographic term:Zambia
Subjects:democracy
interest groups
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
Politics and Government
Link:https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-7660.00215
Abstract:New democracies attempting to implement political and economic reform simultaneously are considered to face a dilemma, as democratization may undermine economic reform by encouraging political participation and empowering interest groups that are unlikely to benefit from reform. This article compares the relationship between the government and key interest groups representing agriculture, business and labour under one-party and multiparty rule in Zambia. The entry of a large number of NGOs and no less than thirty-six new opposition parties into the political system meant that the economic interest groups that had been granted some real influence in the previous authoritarian regime found it increasingly difficult to be heard and seen in public fora. They experienced a decline in their membership which further reduced their ability to influence the government. Thus, whereas political liberalization re-introduced multiparty elections and civic liberties to Zambia, the process of political reforms has so far not resulted in increased participation by interest groups. As a result of this 'pluralist paradox', the position of interest groups did not constitute a significant threat to the sustainability of the economic reform programme, or to the electoral prospects of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD). Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.
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