Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Not by structure alone: power, prominence, and agency in American finance

  • Kevin Young
Abstract

I examine the challenges of conceptualization and measurement of structural power when the differential power of industries or individual firms are in question. While ascertaining structural power's operation at this level can be very challenging, I point to some issues of conceptualization and measurement that can enhance our analytic leverage at the initial stages of the research process. Specifically I propose a more refined language of “structural prominence” to differentiate between the expected causes of structural power from its hypothesized effects. Using a variety of data I show that researchers have some simple tools at their disposal but must pay careful attention to basic logical inferential limitations when examining structural power arguments. Through an examination of firms’ reactions to policy proposals in US securities regulation I find positive evidence for structural power operating in initial policy proposals. When I examine levels of preference attainment in the policymaking process itself, structural power appears to be playing a weaker and more conditional role. I also find that the preference attainment of firms is greatest when structural and instrumental forces operate in conjunction, a finding supportive of recent research in this area.

Copyright
Corresponding author
* Department of Political Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003, USA, e-mail: kevinlyoung@polsci.umass.edu
References
Hide All
Baumgartner Frank R., Berry Jeffrey M., Hojnacki , Kimball David C., and Leech Beth. 2009. Lobbying and Policy Change. Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Baker A. 2009. “Deliberative Equality and the Transgovernmental Politics of the Global Financial Architecture.” Global Governance 15: 195218.
Baker Andrew. 2010. “Restraining Regulatory Capture? Anglo- America, Crisis Politics and Trajectories of Change in Global Financial Governance.” International Affairs 86 (3): 647663.
Barabasi Albert-Lazslo, and Albert Reka. 1999. “Emergence of Scaling in Random Networks.” Science 289 (5439): 509512.
Bell Stephen. 2012. “The Power of Ideas: the Ideational Shaping of the Structural Power of Business.” International Studies Quarterly 56: 661673.
Bell Stephen, and Hindmoor Andrew. 2015. “Taming the City? Ideas, Structural Power and the Evolution of British Banking Policy Amidst the Great Financial Meltdown.” New Political Economy 20 (3): 454474.
Bernhagen Patrick and Bräuninger Thomas. 2005. “Structural Power and Public Policy: A Signaling Model of Business Lobbying in Democratic CapitalismPolitical Studies 33: 4364.
Bernhagen Patrick. 2007. The Political Power of Business: Structure and Information in Public Policymaking. New York: Routledge.
Carpenter Daniel. 2010. “Institutional Strangulation: Bureaucratic Politics and Financial Reform in the Obama Administration.” Perspectives on Politics 8 (3): 825846.
Carroll W. K. 2008. “The Corporate Elite and the Transformation of Finance Capital: A View from Canada.” The Sociological Review 56 (1): 4463.
Compson Hugh. 2013. “The Network of Global Corporate Control: Implications for Public Policy”, Business and Politics 15 (3): 357379.
Culpepper Pepper D. and Raphael Reinke. 2014. “Structural Power and Bank Bailouts in the United States and the United Kingdom.” Politics and Society 42 (4): 427454.
Culpepper Pepper D. 2015. “Structural Power and Political Science in the Post-Crisis Era.” Business and Politics 17 (3): 391409.
Dür Andreas. 2008. “Measuring Interest Group Influence in the EU: A Note on Methodology.” European Union Politics 9 (4): 559576.
Epstein Gerald. 2005. Financialization of the World Economy. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar.
Fairfield Tasha. 2015. “Structural Power in Comparative Political Economy: Perspectives from Policy Formulation in Latin America.” Business and Politics 17 (3): 411441.
Froud Julie, Leaver Adam, and Williams Karel. 2007. “New Actors in a Financialised Economy and the Remaking of Capitalism”, New Political Economy 12 (3): 339347.
Fuchs Doris. 2007. Business Power in Global Governance. Boulder: Lynn Rienner.
Fuchs Doris, and Markus Lederer. 2007. “The Power of Business.” Business and Politics 9 (3): 117.
Gill Stephen, and Law David. 1989. “Global Hegemony and the Structural Power of Capital”, International Studies Quarterly 33 (4): 475499.
Gill Stephen. 1995. “Globalization, Market Civilization, and Disciplinary Neoliberalism”, Millennium, 24 (3): 399421.
Hacker Jacob and Pierson Paul. 2002. “Business Power and Social Policy: Employers and the Formation of the American Welfare State”, Politics and Society 2: 277325.
Hardie Iain. 2006. “The Power of the Markets? The International Bond Markets and the 2002 Elections in Brazil”, Review of International Political Economy 13 (1): 5377.
Helleiner Eric. 2014. The Status Quo Crisis. Ithaca: Cornel University Press.
Johnson Simon. 2009. “The Quiet Coup”, Atlantic, May.
Krippner G. R. 2005. “The Financialization of the American Economy.” Socio-Economic Review 3: 173208.
Krippner G. R. 2012. Capitalizing on Crisis: the Political Origins of the Rise of Finance. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Lenin V. I. 1917. Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. London, UK: Pluto Press.
Lin K.-H. 2013. “The Rise of Finance and Firm Employment Dynamics, 1982–2005.” SSRN Electronic Journal doi:10.2139/ssrn.2284507.
Mahoney Christine. 2007. “Lobbying Success in the United States and the European Union.” Journal of Public Policy 27 (2): 3556.
Maxfield Sylvia, Kindred Winecoff W., and Young Kevin. 2015. “Is there Still Room for Patience? An Empirical Investigation of the Financialization Convergence Hypothesis.” Unpublished Manuscript Currently Under Review.
McKay Amy. 2012. “Negative Lobbying and Policy Outcomes.” American Politics Research 40 (1): 116146.
McKeen-Edwards Heather, and Porter Tony. 2012. Transnational Financial Associations and the Governance of Global Finance: Assembling Wealth and Power. London: Routledge, pp. 1314.
Mizruchi M. S. 1996. “What Do Interlocks Do? An Analysis, Critique, and Assessment of Research on Interlocking Directorates.” Annual Review of Sociology 22: 271298.
Mizruchi M. S. 2013. The Fracturing of the American Corporate Elite. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Mosley Layna. 2003. Global Capital and National Governments. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Nitzan Jonathan and Bichler Shimshon. 2009. Capital as Power: A Study of Order and Creorder. London: Routledge.
Nölke Andreas, and Perry James. 2007. “The Power of Transnational Private Governance: Financialization and the IASB.” Business and Politics 9 (3): Article 4.
Pagliari Stefano, and Young Kevin. 2014. “Leveraged Interests: Financial Industry Power and the Role of Private Sector Coalitions.” Review of International Political Economy 21 (3): 575610.
Posner Elliot. 2009. “Making Rules for Global Finance: Transatlantic Regulatory Cooperation at the Turn of the Millennium.” International Organization 63: 665–99.
Strange Susan. 1984. “What about International Relations?” In Paths to International Political Economy, edited by Strange Susan, 183197. London: Allen and Unwin.
Strange Susan. 1988. States and Markets. London: Pinter.
Swank Duane. 1992. “Politics and the Structural Dependence of the State in Democratic Capitalist Nations.” American Political Science Review 86 (1): 3854.
Torfason Magnus, and Kitts James. 2011. “Prominence.” In Encyclopedia of Social Networks, edited by Barnett George A. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Walter Andrew. 1998. “Do they really rule the world?New Political Economy 3 (2): 288292.
Winecoff Will. 2015. “Structural Power and the Global Financial Crisis: A Network Analytical Approach.” Business and Politics 17 (3): 495525.
Woll Cornelia. 2014. The Power of Inaction: Bank Bailouts in Comparative Perspective. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Van Evera Stephen. 1997. Guide to Methods for Students of Political Science. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Young Kevin. 2012. “Transnational Regulatory Capture?” An Empirical Examination of the Transnational Lobbying of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.” Review of International Political Economy 19 (4): 663688.
Young Kevin and Park Sung Ho. 2013. “Regulatory Opportunism: Cross-National Patterns in National Banking Regulatory Responses Following the Global Financial Crisis”, Public Administration 91 (3): 561581.
Young Kevin, and Spagna Irene. 2015. “Regulation Under the Influence: An Analysis of Rulemaking by the Securities and Exchange Commission,” Unpublished manuscript.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Business and Politics
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 1469-3569
  • URL: /core/journals/business-and-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 17 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 258 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th January 2017 - 21st February 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.