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POLS 3470 (45)
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Political Science
POLS 3470
Tim Mau

David Vogel Reading - few political science research in Canada between bus/gov relations - political scientists and business need to work together, mesh ideas Reasons for interest in business/gov relations: - power of business - business has privilege position - not just another interest group - challenges pluralism - needs outweigh all other institutions – even state - early politicians also business people (beginning of Canada) - increased awareness of the power of business - increased business political activity - early stages hidden from public view - changed in 1970’s - larger firms engaged in independent work to form strategies to self-benefit - tried to influence/shape political decision - campaign finance - US electoral success depends on how much $ you have - happened in the dark, no limitations - 70’s became more and more open - now mandatory to disclose contributions - corporations limited on contributions allowed - expansion of political agenda - historically interests restricted - explosion of gov standards/regulations - waste, health and safety, water, pollution - how public policies effect business - interest group representation - civil society - interests different from business - comparative political economy - recognition of importance of economic issues - globalization - international competiveness - gov concerned more with local business – import/export/jobs - changing public expectations - 60-70’s social activism - rise in public criticism - challenge large corporations - rise of corporate social responsibility - rise of business ethics in management key themes 1. need for historical analysis - different needs for different types of businesses 2. value of comparative research 3. importance of interdisciplinary research - divide between bus and political science AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM - something fundamentally different from other countries - capitalist economy - don’t want state interfering with business - want more freedom - less co-operation - more mistrust between economic and political elites - US exceptional (unique) - neo-conservatism - political and economic power fragmented - no overarching industry that speaks for all businesses - power weaker than other places - way in which regulations made and enforced problematic - business ethics – no other capitalist country as aggressive in moral conduct of business leaders - more laws/regulations with criminal penalties - less exceptional now than historically - more decentralized BUSINESS-GOVERNMENT RELATIONS “...THE ENTIRE GAMUT OF INTERACTION BETWEEN BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT ELITES AS IT AFFECTS BUSINESS STRATEGY AND/OR GOVERNMENT POLICY…” (TAYLOR ET AL, P.4) BUSINESS OPERATES IN 2 ENVIRONMENTS: 1. ECONOMIC MARKETS - outputs sold - based on inputs - capitalist economy – private property restricuted - socialist economy – societies needs best met when states ownes some of companies to help public 3 types of economic markets: a) ATOMISTIC COMPETITION - no barriers - cost of entry minimal - market share dispersed b) PURE MONOPOLY - 1 single provider of service - high cost to entry/prohibited competitors - want state to intervene and maintain fair prices c) OLIGOPOLY - small handful of major providers - dominate productions - high entry barrier - minimal price competition - many industries in Canada POLITICAL MARKETS: - business markets ignore at own risk - gov promotes economic and political market a) PROMOTE ECONOMIC SUCCESS - know business and how/why gov act to influence private economic activity b) CONTROL ECONOMIC BEHAVIOUR 3 key actors: - all have unique relationships with each other and together a) firm - firms may be in competition with each other for gov contracts b) state c) industry - trade associations - usually shared by those in same firm - collective numbers more influence - state prefers dealing with representations - policy community: all or anyone interested/involved in policy area, relevant agencies, departments - policy network: patterns relationships of those interested/involved in policy making process IMPORTANCE OF GOVERNMENT FOR BUSINESS 1. stabilize economic environment - how? fiscal and monetary policy - fiscal – taxations and expenditure individuals or businesses - monetary – interest rates, value of Canadian currency/exchange rate 2. government expenditures - country’s GDP determined by state expenditure - all levels of government - directly/indirectly subsidizing companies 3. government taxation - generating revenue - capital gains 4. promotes export activities of firms - goods and services - trade fairs - information services - favourable taxation - advertising 5. provides loans/loan guarantees 6. crown corporations - provincial and federal - commercially oriented entities - generate revenues from sale of goods and services 7. mixed enterprise - state partially owns with 1 or more private sector partners/investors 8. government regulation - huge, growing - regulate activities of businesses - every aspect of life regulated - water, radio, health, safety, environment, CRTC, misleading advertising 9. subsidize interest groups - lobby policy making process FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYZING BUSINESS-GOVERNMENT RELATIONS (W.T. STANBURY) - CHARACTERISTICS OF THE POLITICAL SYSTEM - Westminster policy democracy - 2 chambers – upper and lower house - cabinet - PM all powerful - federalism – UK unitary government - degree of political stability - PM creates policy - strong party discipline - public little access to policy making process - unitary (UK) vs. federal (CAN) - degree of internal government conflict – different levels of gov - CHARACTERISTICS OF CANADIAN SOCIAL VALUES - communal approach – less individualistic, willing to help each other out - social safety net - liberal views – ie. support same sex marriage - tolerance/diversity - equality/fairness - deference to authority (respect) - need for consultation/dialogue – constitutional negotiations - regional diversity - CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM - neo-conservative vs. Keynesian - monetary policy - degree of regulation – higher in comparison to US - degree of dependence on foreign trade - barriers the trade – restrictions on goods across boarders, global movement of elimination to tariff/non-tariffs in trade, shift to regional integration movements - regional
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