Peak organizations in policy-domain networks : the German and American labor policy domain compared
A policy domain network is defined as a communication structure between the actors of a policy domain. Confirmed policy networks are measured for the labor policy domain under the Reagan Administration in the USA and for the first Kohl Governments up to the year 1988 for West Germany. Using this data on ties among more than a hundred corporate actors in each country, the role of peak organizations is conceptualized as a broker organization for its member organizations. Based on the typology of brokers provided by Fernandez and Gould (1994), results show that German peak organizations perform their roles as representatives better than their American counterparts, but this role is counterbalanced to a certain degree by the role of gatekeepers of the political system. The paper is an example of the power of comparative network analysis in answering questions of political sociology that are often only answered at the individual level and not at the structural level. Power of comparative network analysis in answering questions of political sociology that are often only answered at the individual level and not at the structural level.