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POLS3470 - Week 1

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Political Science
POLS 3470
Tim Mau

David Vogel Reading September 9, 2013 Reasons for Interest in Business-Government Relations Power of business Challenged pluralism – business ultimately dominated that process Its needs dominate all other institutions in society – ties between the business and political elite Early politicians were financiers and businessmen – policy decisions would benefit individual from both sides; does not work like that anymore – placed in blind trusts Increased business political activity Prior to the 1970’s there was some political activity but not much, most of which was hidden from public view Corporations began to have in-house capabilities; have individuals to conduct research to what is going on within government – knowing what the senior bureaucrats are thinking and how to manipulate it for it to work with one’s business Began to hire legal firms and lobbyists with the intent and purpose of trying to influence the decision making in Washington PAC – raise significant amounts of capital which is used to influence decision making in Washington; immense decision making influence in American politics Campaign finance In the United States having a large war chest is somewhat required; hard to challenge an incumbent with such finances at his/her disposal In the 1970’s a greater degree of openness with campaign spending – legal framework changed and required political contributions to be recorded and released One of the changes the Canadian state made was a state funding mechanism; compensation is received based on how many votes one’s party gets Expansion of political agenda Tariffs and other financial barriers that the state placed on companies trying to export products into country; concern of the state with respect to business Explosion of government regulation in areas such as health and safety and environmental regulation – became more unstable Also an expansion in interest group representation more broadly, business is a powerful public interest group; a lot of civil society based organizations and obviously their aims and objectives were similar with regards to shaping public policy Comparative political economy Talk about globalization as if it’s a new phenomenon; however it is a process that has been occurring for centuries – the rate of impacts has increased within the last 30 years Gave a new rise between the relationship of business and the state – how are these businesses going to be able to compete on a global scale Changing public expectations Social activism, rise of public criticism – in particularly began to challenge and attack large corporations for child exploitation Rise of interest in corporate responsibility, rise of business ethics in the management field Key Themes i) Need for historical analysis Monolithic interest of business; different industries and different sectors based on either importing or exporting – size of business plays large part If it had a privilege of status at one point in time does not mean it has remained that way for the past decades ii) Value of comparative research Pretty hard to understand what is going on in one’s own country if unaware of what is going on in other nation states iii) Importance of interdisciplinary research Divide between business and political science, typically looked at from a business perspective and nothing else Narrow disciplinary silo’s and not much else American Exceptionalism Something fundamentally different between the United States and all else; the argument has been that there has been that they are exceptional and have an adverse relationship between politicians and businesses Relatively less cooperation, more mistrust between the economic and political elites – with the ascendency of neo-conservatism ideas are consistently changing with NPM; has become the prevailing ideology Political and economic power is highly fragmented, do not have any peak associations within Canada to speak on behalf of all business and/or labour American regulation is different; the way in which regulations are made and enforced is much more complicated Set up industries here in Canada have much more autonomy in decision making In the united States those supposedly arms length bureaucracies are highly politicized and constantly under review Business ethics – no other capitalist country is quite as aggressive as the United States in ensuring the moral conduct of its business people – many US managers have faced penalties or prison time for not adhering to those rules Government support for business in the US is a lot more limited in comparison to Canada, relatively more ad hoc and centralized National security or public welfare tend to be the most major concerns in the US Business and Government Relations “.. The entire gamut of interaction between business and government elites as it affects business strategy and/or government policy..” Business operates in two environments Economic markets Traditional realm of business, based on inputs such as labour and capital Talking about a capitalist economy, socialist is felt that societies needs are best met if the government provides all, communist private ownership of property is restricted Atomistic Competition – Adam Smith No barriers, cost of entry are quite minimal Pure Monopoly Single provider of service, extremely high cost of entry and somewhat prohibited Oligopoly Small handful of major players within a given industry, minimal price competition Political Markets Promote economic success East coast economic standpoint, governments will expend resources to ensure some economic success to withstand recession Control economic behaviour Important for these individuals to understand their business but to know how and why government interferes and later to be able to construct government decisions September 11, 2013 Peter Clancy Diagram Firm - individual firm has its relationship with the state Could pursue their ends through more collective means or divide out the work Industry – group of firms working in a specific industry, able to grasp the collective need/interest and work together Book sellers association, Canadian association of Internet providers.. etc Trade associations that are inexistence for the sole purpose to represent firms working within a specific industry and trying to put pressure on government policy wise Group of industries were concerned about telecommunications cost – jointly intervened at regulatory meetings to try and regulate costs State – various poli
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