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Lecture 1

POLS 3470 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Policy Network, Exogeny, Business Matters

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 3470
Tim Mau

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Sept. 9
Business- government Relations in Canada
o Government impact on business
Regulations/deregulation (health and safety; consumer
protection; environmental)
Legal framework
o Business influence over government- businesses are passive,
they will respond either individually as businesses or
Advocacy advertising
Public opinion
Sept. 12
David Vogel (Kindred Strangers)
Reasons for interest in business-government relations- a lot of
tension between government and business, are they partners or
just forced reluctantly to work together
o Power of business- most powerful interest group
o Increased business political activity- business activity was
hidden from public inspection, PACs were introduced
o Campaign Finance- greater openness and transparency
o Expansion of the political agenda- how government policies
are effected by businesses
o Interest group representation- to influence the policy making
process, political agenda expanded and became less clear-
interest groups were coming up with new strategies
o Comparative political economy- increased recognition of the
importance of economic policy, being competitive in the
economic market became very important
o Changing public expectations- people organizing collectively
to change government policy making and that of large
corporations ie. Corporate social responsibility
Key Themes
o Need for historical analysis- the relationship between
government and business has always been changing
o Value of comparative research- understand business and
government relations to compare and see what works
o Importance of interdisciplinary research
American Exceptionalism- America has a very different way of doing
things, they do not promote government intervention, there has
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always been a more limited role for government in the U.S. and the
market will stabilize itself
o History of the states is different from other nations-
emergence from American Revolution “first new nation”,
based on liberty (free from oppressive restrictions opposed by
authority), egalitarianism (Equality for all people),
individualistic, laissez-faire for business
o US has a unique mission to transform the world- government
of the people, by the people, for the people doesn’t perish
from the earth
o They have a sense that the US’s history and mission make
them superior to other nations
o No other nation is as willing to prosecute business managers
with criminal charges
Business- Government Relations
“the entire range of interaction between business and government
as it affects business strategy and/or government policy”
o easy to think about the things that government does to
hinder businesses, but businesses don’t jut sit back and allow
regulations to be passed that could harm them.
Business Environment
Operations in two key environments
o Economic Markets
Business leaders know this market very well- outputs
are sold and inputs (material, capital and labour) are
used referring to a capitalist economy
Atomistic competition/Perfect Competition- very
few barriers to entry, must sell better or cheaper
product to remain competitive
Pure Monopoly- one provider of the service, huge
barrier to entry, can charge any prices to
customers (state can step in to regulate the firm
from screwing customers)
Oligopoly- there are a few large players in a
particular industry, they can dominate the
production and price- they can collude to screw
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