Together forever? Explaining exclusivity in party-firm relations
McMenamin, Iain and Schoenman, Roger (2007) Together forever? Explaining exclusivity in party-firm relations. Political Studies, 55 (1). pp. 153-173. ISSN 1467-9248
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Parties and firms are the key actors of representative democracy and capitalism respectively and the dynamic of attachment between them is a central feature of any political economy. This is the first article to systematically analyse the exclusivity of party-firm relations. We consider exclusivity at a point in time and exclusivity over time. Does a firm have a relationship with only one party at a given point in time, or is it close to more than one party? Does a firm maintain a relationship with only one party over time, or does it switch between parties? Most important, how do patterns of exclusivity impact on a firm’s ability to lobby successfully? We propose a general theory, which explains patterns of party-firm relations by reference to the division of institutions and the type of party competition in a political system. A preliminary test of our theory with Polish survey data confirms our predictions, establishing a promising hypothesis for future research.
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