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The politics of small business organization, partisanship and institutionalization: similarities in the contrasting cases of Japan and the US

  • James Babb

Partisanship and institutionalization are more important to group formation and dynamics than is often recognized in the literature on interest groups. This study examines the contrasting cases of small business group formation and dynamics in Japan and the United States to demonstrate how opposition to the party or parties in power was crucial to the timing and nature of the largest small business organizations formed in both countries. Parties are also important to subsequent developments in the organization and institutional interactions of the sector. It is these processes which explain the divergent outcome whereby the US small business sector is identified with the political right and the small business in Japan with the political left.

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* Department of Politics, University of Newcastle, 40–42 Great North Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, England, UK, Tel.: +44 (0)191-222-8825, e-mail:
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