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Journal Article

Institutional Sources of Business Power

MPS-Authors
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Thelen,  Kathleen A.
Auswärtiges Wissenschaftliches Mitglied, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society;
Massachusetts Institute of Technology;

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WP_72_2020_Thelen.pdf
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Citation

Busemeyer, M. R., & Thelen, K. A. (2020). Institutional Sources of Business Power. World Politics, 72(3), 448-480. doi:10.1017/S004388712000009X.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-DF72-F
Abstract
Recent years have seen a revival of debates about the role of business and the sources of business power in postindustrial political economies. Scholarly accounts commonly distinguish between structural sources of business power, connected to its privileged position in capitalist economies, and instrumental sources, related to direct forms of lobbying by business actors. The authors argue that this distinction overlooks an important third source of business power, which they conceptualize as institutional business power. Institutional business power results when state actors delegate public functions to private business actors. Over time, through policy feedback and lock-in effects, institutional business power contributes to an asymmetrical dependence of the state on the continued commitment of private business actors. This article elaborates the theoretical argument behind this claim, providing empirical examples of growing institutional business power in education in Germany, Sweden, and the United States.