Transnational Capture or Transnational Pluralism?

Saturday, April 16, 2016
Symphony Ballroom (DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia Center City)
Abraham Newman , Georgetown University
What is the role of transnational business in shaping domestic policy? The literature on structural power suggests that globalization benefits mobile capital in its ability to leverage the threat of exit to achieve its policy ends. Work on instrumental power, by contrast, suggests that localized firms with deep insider ties to political powers are better positioned. This paper bridges this literature by examining how transnational interest groups find both opportunities and constraints in transnational lobbying. In particular, it highlights the interaction between domestic arenas of contestation and the legitimacy of transnational interest groups to leverage instrumental power. The argument is explored in the case of transnational lobbying surrounding the reform of European data privacy regulations. The findings speak to both issues of business power and democratic accountability in a globalized world.