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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

Free Trade Lobbying Networks


The proliferation of trade in services groups and coalitions originated with American Express in the US and British Invisibles in the UK. Key people such as Harry Freeman from AmEx and Leon Brittan and Andrew Buxton from  BI and  Barclays Bank were active in forming and leading these coalitions, which had a close relationship with each other and overlapping memberships.

diagram American Express CSI BI LOTIS Uruguay Round FSA GSN ESF Alliance for GATT Now MTN Coalition Leon Brittan Andrew Buxton FLG High Level LOTIS Doha Round

Source: Sharon Beder, Suiting Themselves: How Corporations Drive the Global Agenda, Earthscan, London, 2006.

All these business coalitions work closely together for similar goals which is perfectly understandable given their common origins and overlapping membership and leadership. For example, FLG press releases include contacts from CSI, British Invisibles and ESF. CSI and IFSL continue to jointly administer the group. In fact CSI has a hand in all but the European-based LOTIS groups and the ESF. The ESF nevertheless works closely with the CSI and has a similar, if less strident, agenda.

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