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

By Kenji Suzuki | Go to book overview

7

Changes in the distribution of power resources from the 1970s to the 1990s

The pattern of the distribution of power resources in the competition policy network changed in both Britain and Japan from the 1970s to the 1990s, as a result of various changes of domestic and external conditions. The aim of this chapter is to examine the organisational and relational power of the core domestic actors as an explanatory factor for the reforms of the 1990s.

Corresponding to Chapter 4, the first section considers the changes in the organisational strength of business leaders-the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Keizai Dantai Rengokai (Federation of Economic Organisations, Keidanren)-from the 1970s to the 1990s. The second section examines the organisational structure of political parties and considers inter-party relations. The third section discusses how the triangular relationship between politicians, public officials and businesses was transformed over time. Finally, attention is drawn to the changes in relational power and the personnel strength of the competition policy agencies over the last twenty years. In light of the consistency of the recent reform output with business interests, the concluding discussion focuses on changes in the relational power of business representatives vis-à-vis other actors in the competition policy network.


Changes in the leading business organisations and their strategy in the policy-making process

The CBI in the 1990s: organisational growth and remainingweaknesses

Since the 1970s, the CBI has increased its membership such that it now considers itself 'acknowledged to be Britain's business voice, and, as such, is widely consulted by government, the civil service and the media'. 1 Indeed, its membership now encompasses over 250,000 public and private companies, which is more than double the figure of twenty-five years ago. The CBI also includes over 200 trade associations, employer organisations and commercial associations.

The CBI has extended the scope of its membership not only quantitatively but also qualitatively. In particular, since the late 1980s the service sector has

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