3 - Public Opinion as a Political Tool for Farm Lobby

By: Akio Nawakura  

This study asks how farmers’ interest groups in the EU and East Asia have overcome the institutional handicap in lobbying. Because of its low productivity compared with industrial sector, agricultural sector in developed countries needs political protection such as price support, import restriction, and high tariffs. Therefore, farmers’ interest groups in most developed countries have lobbied their governments and legislature bodies to keep agriculture away from global market competition. However, while some countries have strong institutional background for lobbying, other countries do not. In the United States, on the one hand, farmers’ associations have been influential in the Congress based on their lobbying political culture. In the European Union and South Korea, on the other, farmers’ associations have handicaps such as poor lobbying culture and limited opportunity of election.In the latter group, however, public opinion often plays a role to assist the farmers’ lobbying activities. In South Korea, for example, agriculture-friendly public opinion often supports the farmers’ lobbying by street demonstration against free trade. This study, therefore, finds public opinion’s role to assist farm lobby.

Trade Liberalization, Lobbying
Food, Politics, and Cultures
Poster/Exhibit Session

Dr. Akio Nawakura

-, -, Meiji University, Japan
Tokyo, Japan