Organizing for Collective Action
The Political Economies of Associations
Organizing for Collective Action investigates the political and economic behaviors of national associations, including trade associations, professional societies, labor unions, and public interest groups. It focuses upon the ways that these organizations acquire resources and allocate them to various collective actions, particularly for member services, public relations, and political action. This analysis is structured around three broad theoretical paradigms for collective action: (1) the problem of societal integration which concerns the ways that people are tied to organizations and the ways that organizations connect their members with the larger society; (2) the problem of organizational governance which considers how individuals become unified collectivities capable of acting in a coordinated manner, and (3) the problem of public policy influence which involves interactions among public and private interest groups to formulate the binding decisions under which we all must live.
“Beginning and ending with the same quotation from Alexis de Tocqueville, Knoke asserts the importance of pluralist combat among collective action organizations in national policymaking. He concludes that "national membership organizations nourish our best hopes for fate control in a society whose state is increasingly dominated by powerful institutions that are unaccountable to the citizenry"… [T]hese chapters will be valuable when designing new research on incentives, member interest, association governance, member involvement, and member mobilization… Graduate readership.”
—J. Bearden, Choice