Challenging the traditional notion that state officials act autonomously in formulating and implementing international policy, the contributors to this volume argue that the influence of organized business groups has been consistently underestimated in recent decades. Each uses a “business conflict” model of state-society relations as a new paradigm for understanding key policy conjunctures in U.S. trade and foreign policy. Applying this model to such concerns and crises as the Vietnam War, Afghanistan, the former Soviet Union, the North American Free Trade Agreement, the rise of the New Right, the Latin American debt crisis, and the political instability of West Africa, the contributors conclude that the political power of business groups in shaping policy is very real indeed. Their provocative conclusions advance our understanding of the relationship between business groups and policymakers in capitalist societies.
About the Author
Ronald W. Cox is associate professor of political science at Florida International University and is the author of Power and Profits: U.S. Policy in Central America. He has also published articles on the political economy of food production, international trade, and U.S. foreign policy.