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The Right Turn in Economic Policy: Business Elites and the New Conservative Economics

J. Craig Jenkins and Craig M. Eckert
Sociological Forum
Vol. 15, No. 2 (Jun., 2000), pp. 307-338
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/684818
Page Count: 32
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The Right Turn in Economic Policy: Business Elites and the New Conservative Economics
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Abstract

What was the role of business elites in the development of the new conservative economic policies? Corporate elite and class fraction arguments have been invoked to explain this "right turn" but have not been systematically evaluated. Combining a decision-making history with an elite background analysis of the key policy entrepreneurs behind these policies, we show that: (1) moderate conservative and ultraconservative business policy organizations (BPOs) developed the main policy proposals and inserted them on the national policy agenda against the opposition of corporate liberal BPOs; and (2) the corporate elite dominated the boards of all three policy camps while social, regional and industrial divisions accounted for policy divisions. Corporate elite theory needs to be revised to address the social, industrial and regional divisions that create policy divisions and the political pressures from below that condition the dominance of business coalitions.

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