Kindred Strangers
The Uneasy Relationship between Politics and Business in America
David Vogel


Notwithstanding the myriad forms of government assistance to American business, the relationship of business to politics in the United States remains a highly antagonistic one, characterized by substantial mutual distrust. This adversarial relationship is both reflected and reinforced not only in American business ideology, but also in America's unique legalistic and confrontational style of regulation, the political strategies of the public interest movement, the American approach to American industrial policy, and the distinctive way Americans think about the subject of business ethics. This volume brings together more than two decades of scholarship on business and politics by one of the leading authorities on this subject.

These essays also explore a number of critical contemporary issues, including the ongoing debate over the scope and extent of business power in America, the growth of shareholder protests and consumer boycotts, the changing politics of consumer and environmental regulation, and the emergence of both public and business interest in business ethics. In addition, they place the contemporary dynamics of American business-government relations in both an historical and comparative context. Finally these essays demonstrate e the importance of integrating the study of business by political scientists with the study of politics by students of management.

First published in 1996.

David Vogel is Professor of Business and Pubic Policy at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, where he also holds the Quist Chair in Business Ethics. A political scientist, he is the author of five books on business-government relations.