Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Despite a centuries-long debate on corporativist forms of political representation and statehood, the concept of corporativism (corporatism) is still elusive, owing to insufficient definition and ideological controversy. This entry discusses the definition and the basic idea of corporativism with reference to its historical roots in the Middle Ages and its subsequent developments up to the 19th and 20th centuries. The more recent Catholic element and the secular one are also presented. Finally, the authoritarian features of corporatist rule, especially in Latin America but also in other parts of the world, are discussed. In its most basic meaning, corporativism refers to a political power structure and practice of consensus formation based on the functional representation of professional groups. Associations of farmers, craft workers, industrialists, laborers, lawyers, doctors, or the clergy (churches) act as self-governing bodies on their own behalf and as intermediaries between the government and their members. Political status and ...