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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

Overlaps between Groups


From the 1950s the Conference Board, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Committee for Economic Development (CED) worked together and had overlapping and interconnecting membership. These groups also had a large overlap with the Business Council.


Corporate CEOs like Roger Blough of US Steel, who were members of the inner circle of corporate leaders, played active roles in several of these groups. Blough was


The Business Roundtable (BRT) has become central to these corporate policy groups although it was only a lobby group itself. Its directors are largely drawn from the inner circle of business leaders who are on the boards of more than one company and are also members of other business coalitions, particularly the Business Council but also CED, National Association of Manufactures (NAM), American Enterprise Institute (AEI), CFR, the Conference Board and several others (see figure below).

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Business Roundtable Connections in 1997

Business Roundtable connections diagram Business Roundtable CED Business Council NAM Conference Board CFR AEI

Note: Seventy nine of the Business Roundtable directors are also members of several other policy groups and think tanks as shown in this diagram. The spokes of the wheel show the number of shared directors between organizations. For example 36 BRT directors are also members of the Business Council.

Source of Information: G. W. Domhoff. Who Rules America? Power and Politics, 4th edn. New York: McGraw Hill, 2002, p. 93.
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