Firm Interests: How Governments Shape Business Lobbying on Global Trade / Edition 2

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $35.41
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 28%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (3) from $35.41   
  • New (1) from $35.41   
  • Used (2) from $0.00   


Firms are central to trade policy-making. Some analysts even suggest that they dictate policy on the basis of their material interests. Cornelia Woll counters these assumptions, arguing that firms do not always know what they want. To be sure, firms lobby hard to attain a desired policy once they have defined their goals. Yet material factors are insufficient to account for these preferences. The ways in which firms are embedded in political settings are much more decisive. Woll demonstrates her case by analyzing the surprising evolution of support from large firms for liberalization in telecommunications and international air transport in the United States and Europe. Within less than a decade, former monopolies with important home markets abandoned their earlier calls for subsidies and protectionism and joined competitive multinationals in the demand for global markets. By comparing the complex evolution of firm preferences across sectors and countries, Woll shows that firms may influence policy outcomes, but policies and politics in turn influence business demands. This is particularly true in the European Union, where the constraints of multilevel decision-making encourage firms to pay lip service to liberalization if they want to maintain good working relations with supranational officials. In the United States, firms adjust their sectoral demands to fit the government's agenda. In both contexts, the interaction between government and firm representatives affects not only the strategy but also the content of business lobbying on global trade.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a truly excellent book that should take the field of international political economy in promising directions. Firm Interests deserves a wide audience of political scientists, policymakers, economists, and scholars of management, public policy, and business-government relations. . . . It will help us to make better sense of how firms' managers decide what is best and, as well, how firms attempt to influence policies in their favor. . . . Woll has engaged in impressive field research to find out what firms wanted and why, combining prodigious secondary research with primary interviews at many of the firms that participated in some of the most important trade debates of the past 20 years."—Perspectives on Politics

"I love the case studies in this book! On the basis of seventy interviews with key political and business leaders from more than a half-dozen nations, Cornelia Woll reconstructs the international negotiations that led to the liberalization of the global telecommunications and airline markets. She gets into the heads of the relevant actors, using interview data to confirm her intuitions about their motivations and perceived interests."—J. Lawrence Broz, University of California, San Diego

"Firm Interests is theoretically ambitious and empirically rich. Political economists typically take the notion of an actor's interests as something to 'do the explaining with' rather than 'something to be explained.' Yet essentially similar material environments seem to engender great variation in the interests real actors hold. Rather than ignore this inconvenient truth, Cornelia Woll confronts it head-on in a major contribution to constructivist scholarship in political economy. Firm Interests shows how actors as diverse as telecommunications firms and airlines can hold interests that cannot be assumed from their asset-baskets or sectoral positions. Rather, firms actively construct ideas about what their interests should be given their interaction with other agents. Firm Interests puts the study of what actors want on much firmer ground."—Mark Blyth, The Johns Hopkins University

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801446092
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 3/6/2008
  • Series: Cornell Studies in Political Economy Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 916,618
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Cornelia Woll is Professor of Political Science at Sciences Po Paris and Co-Director of MaxPo and LIEPP. She is the author of The Power of Inaction: Bank Bailouts in Comparison and Firm Interests: How Governments Shape Business Lobbying on Global Trade, both from Cornell, and coeditor of Economic Patriotism in Open Economies.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)