The Dynamics of American Politics: Approaches and Interpretations

By Lawrence C. Dodd; Calvin Jillson | Go to book overview

the business corporation is a device for limiting liabilities, but that should not include shirking social responsibilities. Business is heavily involved in the act of governance, and many of its actions impose substantial public costs. Hence we need to devise ways, formal and informal, to draw corporate decisionmakers into broad coalitions of problem solvers.

The group basis of politics teaches us that each segment of society tends to be preoccupied with what is proximate. The challenge is how to overcome that tendency and thereby expand our freedom to act on the large problems that beset us. An integrated political economy perspective should facilitate this broader view of the group basis of American politics and its relation to the capacity to govern.


NOTES

I wish to thank the General Research Board of the University of Maryland for support in the writing of this chapter.

1
For a critique of this line of argument, offering the alternative concept of an issue network, see Heclo ( 1978). See also Berry ( 1989), Walker, 1991, and Baumgartner and Jones ( 1991).
2
On "ecology," see Long ( 1958), and Crenson ( 1971).
3
This case is based on Loomis and Cigler ( 1983:16-17).
4
I am indebted to Meredith Ramsay for this point. Significant works outside political science include those by Hunt ( 1990), Kohn ( 1990), and Tyler ( 1990). See also Dawes, van de Kraft, and Orbell ( 1990).
5
A contrasting conception of power may be found in Pitkin ( 1972), Isaac ( 1987), Clegg ( 1989), and Stone ( 1989).

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