This is the first systematically comparative and historical analysis of the incorporation of business into politics in Latin America, examining business organizing and political activity over the last century in five of the largest, most developed countries of the region. Why did business end up better organized in Chile, Colombia, and Mexico than in Argentina and Brazil? The explanation for the surprising cross-national variations lays neither in economic characteristics of business nor broader political parameters, but in the cumulative effect of actions of state actors. The book also considers the consequences of these differences in organization and finds that stronger encompassing associations offer government officials opportunities for concerted policy making with business that can enhance policy implementation. The strong hand of the state in organizing business has important implications not only for theories of collective action, but also for our understanding of civil society and its potential to promote democratization.
"This volume will be of interest to students of Latin American politics as well as those concerned with democracy or the lack of it in developing nations. Recommended." R.J. Alexander, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, CHOICE "This volume is a valuable addition to the extensive and disparate bibliography on business associations, state-business relations, collective action, corporatism, and civil society. One of its major achievements is that it will help to redirect research on these topics." - Carlos Davila "Schneider's book displays meticulous research and an excellent command of both theory and data. It represents the first serious effort to compare business associations' behavior across very diverse countries in a systematic and theoretically sound fashion. The main thesis is straight-foward, well argued, and consistently supported throughout. The book's breadth and scope make it a majorly scholarly accomplishment that any future work on the subject will need to confront." - Luigi Manzetti, Southern Methodist University