The Federation of German Industry in Politics

The Federation of German Industry in Politics

The Federation of German Industry in Politics

The Federation of German Industry in Politics

Excerpt

Although much has been written about the position of the Federal Republic of Germany as a pawn in the Cold War, somewhat less has been written about her domestic politics, and still less about the multitude of her interest groups. The role played in the body politic by one such group, the postwar Federation of German Industry (Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie, or BDI), is the subject of this case study. It has been charged by Marxist and other critics of West Germany that the "economic plutocrats" are once again powerful there, to the extent of dictating both economic and political policy to the government. On the other hand, proponents of the pluralist thesis maintain that competition among the various groups serves to counteract the pressure exerted by the BDI and other business associations. One purpose of this study is to provide at least the basis for a sober assessment of these conflicting points of view. To this end, the BDI will be studied in relation to the country's political, economic, and social framework, which has undergone profound changes since the epoch that ended with World War II.

In the political realm, the numerous parties of the Empire and of the Weimar Republic, and in its turn the single-party system under the Nazis, have been superseded by the emergence . . .

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