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Business-Managed Democracy

“Business-managed democracies are those in which the political and cultural arrangements are managed in the interests of business”

Sharon Beder

Business-Managed Government

Policy Process Diagram

The diagram below shows how corporations are able to initiate and promote free market policies that will facilitate their profit-making, from conception through to implementation. It shows how the policy process sometimes originates with theories and ideas generated in universities.  These are converted into policies – or used to justify policies – by think tanks and research institutes. They are then discussed and reshaped in policy groups and government advisory groups and transmitted to government in reports and recommendations and also via the transfer of personnel through political appointments. Politicians and bureaucrats then transform the policies into legislation and regulations and implement them. Corporations and foundations influence each stage of this policy process from research through to policy and decision-making through to legislation. Influence is gained by funding and donations as well as through providing personnel as members of policy and advisory groups, directors, trustees and fellows of universities and think tanks and via the revolving door between government and business.


Source: Sharon Beder, Suiting Themselves: How Corporations Drive the Global Agenda, Earthscan, London, 2006 (adapted from William Domhoff, Who Rules America?, 4th ed., McGraw  Hill, 2002, p. 72).
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