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Business is one of the major power centres in modern society. The state seeks to check and channel that power so as to serve broader public policy objectives. However, if the way in which business is governed is ineffective or over burdensome, it may become more difficult to achieve desired goals such as economic growth or higher levels of employment. In a period of international economic crisis, the study of how business and government relate to each other in different countries is of more central importance than ever. These relationships have been studied from a number of different disciplinary perspectives - business studies, economics, economic history, law, and political science - and all of these are represented in this handbook. The first part of the book provides an introduction to the ways in which five different disciplines have approached the study of business and government. The second section, on the firm and the state, looks at how these entities interact in different settings, emphasising such phenomena as the global firm and varieties of capitalism. The third section examines how business interacts with government in different parts of the world, including the United States, the EU, China, Japan and South America. The fourth section reviews changing patterns of market governance through a unifying theme of the role of regulation. Business-government relations can play out in divergent ways in different policy and the fifth section examines the contrasts between different key arenas such as competition policy, trade policy, training policy and environmental policy. The volume provides an authoritative overview with chapters by leading authorities on the current state of knowledge of business-government relations, but also points to ways in which this work might be developed in the future, e.g., through a political theory of the firm.
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