Business and Politics

Credits: 1.5


The financial crisis, international negotiations toward a climate change agreement, and crises in such industries as pharmaceuticals and even toy manufacturing have highlighted the increasing interdependence of business and government, as well as the means by which business gains strategic benefits from government regulation. This course will examine methods and patterns of business influence on government, policy-making on issues affecting business, the performance of regulatory agencies, and the behaviors of groups and trade associations in politics.

The course begins with an extended case study that asks, what caused the current financial crisis that some call "the great recession"? The crisis had multiple, often interacting causes, and involved both public-sector and private-sector failures. Besides examining the bases of the crisis, we will ask what institutional reforms, and what critical decisions, might have ameliorated the crisis, and might prevent a future crisis.

The course will examine both regulatory failure patterns and the means by which firms gain strategic, competitive advantage through shaping government decisions and programs. In examining techniques of lobbying, the course will focus on the U.S. setting and identify both effective and ineffective methods of lobbying. By the end of the course, students should have obtained a good working knowledge of the U.S. regulatory system, the major instruments of regulation, and the typical interactive patterns of regulators and regulated parties.

Prerequisite(s): None