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American Business and Political Power : Public Opinion, Elections, and Democracy

American Business and Political Power : Public Opinion, Elections, and Democracy - 00 edition

ISBN13: 978-0226764641

Cover of American Business and Political Power : Public Opinion, Elections, and Democracy 00 (ISBN 978-0226764641)
ISBN13: 978-0226764641
ISBN10: 0226764648
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 00
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Published: 2000
International: No

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American Business and Political Power : Public Opinion, Elections, and Democracy - 00 edition

ISBN13: 978-0226764641

Mark A. Smith

ISBN13: 978-0226764641
ISBN10: 0226764648
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 00
Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Published: 2000
International: No
Summary

Most people believe that large corporations wield enormous political power when they lobby for policies as a cohesive bloc. With this controversial book, Mark A. Smith sets conventional wisdom on its head. In a systematic analysis of postwar lawmaking, Smith reveals that business loses in legislative battles unless it has public backing. This surprising conclusion holds because the types of issues that lead businesses to band together--such as tax rates, air pollution, and product liability--also receive the most media attention. The ensuing debates give citizens the information they need to hold their representatives accountable and make elections a choice between contrasting policy programs. Rather than succumbing to corporate America, Smith argues, representatives paradoxically become more responsive to their constituents when facing a united corporate front. Corporations gain the most influence over legislation when they work with organizations such as think tanks to shape Americans' beliefs about what government should and should not do.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Business Unity and Its Consequences for Representative Democracy
3. Identifying Business Unity
4. A Portrait of Unifying Issues
5. Public Opinion, Elections, and Lawmaking
6. Overt Sources of Business Power
7. Structural Source of Business Power
8. The Role of Business in Shaping Public Opinion
9. The Compatibility of Business Unity and Popular Sovereignty
App. A Additional Coding Rules Used to Uncover Positions of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
App. B The Potential for Feedback between Policy and Opinion
References
Index

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