Business and Politics: A Study of Collective Action

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McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, 1988 - Business & Economics - 336 pages
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Based on a survey of all national business associations, and interviews with many interest-group executives, Business and Politics outlines the wide variety of roles assumed by interest groups in the Canadian policy process. Coleman argues that the present fragmention of business interests makes consultation with major socio-economic producer groups highly unlikely. Instead, adjustment takes place as a series of ad hoc bailouts related to an electoral calculus rather than to a more reflective consideration of the longer-term evolution of the Canadian economy and the relative economic position of Canadians. As there are no organizations that prompt business to take a broad look at its responsibilities to society at large, some economic policy options that political leaders might want to consider are ruled out. Attempts to redress difficulties in the Canadian economy and social welfare system consequently suffer. Coleman concludes that the business community is not appropriately accountable to Canadians for its actions, nor is it sufficiently organized to assume the political responsibilities that come with the private economic power it possesses. He argues that Canada could benefit from examining models of the political institutions in smaller European states and adopting some of their solutions for reform in this country.
 

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Contents

An Overview of Business Associations
17
Framework for Analysis
47
Policy Networks and Associative
66
General Business Associations
81
Agriculture and Corporatism
100
Construction
123
Forestry and Mining
144
Clientelism and Self
172
A Divided
193
Two Foreign
219
State Institutions and Business
238
Business and Democracy
261
Association Domains
287
Index
329
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About the author (1988)

William D. Coleman is CIGI Chair in Globalization and Public Policy at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo.

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