Article

Business-State Relations in Europe

Pepper D. Culpepper

in Political Science

ISBN: 9780199756223
Published online February 2017 | | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756223-0210
Business-State Relations in Europe

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The contemporary literature on business-state relations explores questions both of how business influences public policy (from the outside) and how business associations or firms are themselves formally incorporated into political institutions (from the inside, so to speak). In the first literature, the questions about business have to do with it as constituting a potentially privileged interest group, vis-à-vis other interests in democratic polities. Here the background question is mainly this: does the economic power of firms in capitalism transfer into their having disproportionate political power in democracy? In other words, does business—or at least, do some business actors—capture the state? The second literature emphasizes the varying institutional forms through which polities govern their economies, and the differential degrees to which such institutions accord a formal or informal role for employers alongside other social actors, such as labor unions. In the first body of work, the focus is often on patterns that are similar across capitalist democracies, though they often vary over time. In the second, cross-country variation among different institutional arrangements governing business-state relations typically takes pride of place. The tension between these two different points of intellectual focus continues to define the business-state literature and its most important debates.

Article.  5079 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Political Institutions ; Political Methodology ; Political Theory

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