Competition Law Reform in Britain and Japan: Comparative Analysis of Policy Network

By Kenji Suzuki | Go to book overview

4

Distribution of power resources in the competition policy network of the 1970s

Besides the interests of actors, the distribution pattern of power resources constitutes another key factor in characterising the competition policy network. From this dimension, the failure of business leaders in the 1970s to have their position reflected in the final policy output, as described in Chapter 2, may be explained by their lack of sufficient power resources, at least to some extent. However, it is not clear whether this explanation is supportable. The aim of this chapter is to examine the relational structure within and between the core actors in order to assess such an interpretation.

The first section investigates the organisational structure of the leading business associations, particularly the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Keizai Dantai Rengokai (Federation of Economic Organisations, or Keidanren), since they represented the power base of business in its dealings with politicians and civil servants. The second section examines the structure of the relationship between politicians both within and across major parties. This is followed by a threefold analysis of the strength of the triangular relationship between business, politicians and public officials. Regarding public officials, attention is focused mainly, though not exclusively, on industrial policy officials, that is, civil servants in charge of industrial policy. Then our focus turns to the power resources of competition policy officials, that is, civil servants in charge of competition policy. Specific items discussed include the division of authority between industrial policy and competition policy, and the personnel system of competition policy officials.


Businesses: power resources of the CBI andKeidanren

Representative authority and financial resources

The CBI had a wide spectrum of membership, ranging from the largest companies to very small ones. At the end of 1973, its membership covered as many as 11,624 companies (including public sector members), 244 employers' organisations/trade associations and 15 public sector members. 1 Initially, service industries and nationalised industries were not admitted to full membership-they only obtained 'associate membership'. However, that limit was abandoned in 1969.

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