Business-Government Relations in Comparative Perspective

Panel Code

Business-government relations vary between states, and the nature of this relationship is always complicated. Therefore, there is a danger in making grand assumptions on the basis of a belief that there are market-focused firms in one corner of the 'ring', while national interest-focused governments are in the other, with a ‘fight’ going on between them given their different interests. This may be the case, but sometimes both are in the centre of the ring, and instead of fighting they are 'dancing'. The reality is usually somewhere between these extremes, and to understand the extent to which their relationship is more or less conflictual as opposed to consensual requires study on the basis of the issue, and the national, regional and global context in which it is addressed. Papers in this panel focus on both developed and developing countries, and specific issues that require governance solutions as the outcome of business-government interaction given varying interests, strategies and desired outcomes. In all cases what is demonstrated is that the enduring embeddedness of business in distinct national contexts for material and institutional reasons remains most important for understanding the intersection of business-government interests, and therefore business-government relations, in world affairs.