EU Enlargement, Agricultural Politics, and Domestic Policy Networks in Poland Print

Maryjane Osa, Krzysztof Gorlach and Hanna Podedworna

Abstract

As Poland prepares to join the European Union, how do agricultural interests organize to cope with the new political and economic structures? A network database was created by coding responses of seventy-eight elite informants surveyed in spring 2002; with these data, the authors are able to specify linkages of agricultural policy networks in Poland. This Working Paper presents results from a network analysis of communications and resource sharing among groups in the agricultural policy domain. The authors find that 1) the agricultural policy network is organized as a center-periphery structure; 2) the key actors are four state agencies involved in agricultural policymaking and implementation; 3) the political tensions from the communist past are superimposed on the present, which is consequential for the manner and effectiveness of interest representation; and 4) the power of the Polish state is increased as Poland adopts the Community acquis. This is evidenced by the expansion of state bureaucracies and the centrality of state agencies as power brokers in agriculture, a critical economic sector.