Canning House welcomes three new Corporate Members
- Freddy Nevison-Andrews
Canning House is delighted to welcome three new Corporate Members: Britvic, Coinbase and Pearson! Learn more about our new Members...
On Thursday 30 November, Canning House hosted the London launch of Professor John Crabtree’s new co-authored monograph, Business Power and the State in the Central Andes: Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru in Comparison (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2023.) John presented the book with an overview of its central argumentative threads, with Laurence Whitehead acting as discussant.
John highlighted that while social movements and their influence on politics have been well studied, there is a gap in understanding the role of business’ influence on politics. He therefore emphasized the need to explore the dynamics of inequality in access to decision-making, privilege, and power.
The book introduces concepts of various forms of power, including structural power (economic influence), instrumental power (political influence through campaign donations, lobbying, etc.), and discursive power (shaping public opinion).
John then compared the cases of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, placing their respective business-political influence levels on a scale – with Peru the most consolidated and Bolivia the most fractured.
Laurence’s discussion of John’s presentation pointed to the shifting and unstable nature of these business-political relationships, the fundamental nature of the private sector and the impact of neoliberal policymaking on small and informal businesses, and the different influence of business on local and national levels of government, among other topics.
Subsequent questions from the audience covered issues from the frequent lack of a so-called “middle way” candidate in Latin American electoral politics, the methodology behind the book’s authors’ assessment of business leverage on politics, the concentration of business power across industries, and the application of the authors’ model to other parts of the world, beyond these three Andean countries.
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