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Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(10), 198;

Business Lobbying: Mapping Policy Networks in Brazil in Mercosur

James Madison College, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48825, USA
Received: 16 August 2018 / Revised: 5 October 2018 / Accepted: 10 October 2018 / Published: 15 October 2018
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In the creation of trade policy, business actors have the most influence in setting policy. This article identifies and explains variations in how economic interest groups use policy networks to affect trade policymaking. This article uses formal social network analysis (SNA) to explore the patterns of articulation or a policy network between the government and business at the national level within regional trade agreements. The empirical discussion herein focuses on Brazil and the setting of exceptions list to Mercosur’s common external tariff. It specifically concentrates on the relations between the Brazilian executive branch and ten economic subsectors. The article finds that the patterns of articulation of these policy networks matter and that sectors with stronger ties to key government decision-makers have a structural advantage in influencing trade policy and obtaining and/or maintaining their desired, privileged trade policies, compared with sectors that are connected to government actors with weak decision-making power, but might have numerous and diversified connections. Therefore, sectors that have a strong pluralist–clientelist policy structure with connections to government actors with decision-making power have greater potential for achieving their target policies compared with more corporatist policy networks. View Full-Text
Keywords: organizational state framework; policy networks; regional trade agreements; Mercosur; Brazil; social network analysis organizational state framework; policy networks; regional trade agreements; Mercosur; Brazil; social network analysis

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Benítez, G.J. Business Lobbying: Mapping Policy Networks in Brazil in Mercosur. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 198.

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