An Eroding Representative Power

Special Report: Representing Farmers
The Expression of Farmers’ Interests in France since the 1960s
By Ivan Bruneau

The introduction to this issue [1] examines transformations in how the interests of French farmers have been represented over the last few decades. If the “agricultural world” seemed the ideal environment for studying the mechanisms contributing to the symbolic unification of social and professional groups in the early 1980s, the studies brought together in this issue reveal a very different context. The FNSEA and CNJA farmers’ unions built up representative power in the 1960s and 1970s, subsequently legitimized by political leaders and agricultural institutions then eroded by a series of concurrent processes. Accounting for this trajectory requires connecting various trends affecting how politicians defined representation, agricultural organizations were reconfigured, and the media covered collective actions.

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