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Iain McMenamin
NeoWestern business-government relations: the case of Poland
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This article investigates the applicability of Western models of business-government relations to the postcommunist context. Given the absence of a business-government relationship over the forty years of communism, it seems perfectly plausible that postcommunist countries should produce a historically unprecedented form of business-government relations and a new type of capitalist democracy. On the other hand, these countries have for several years been unequivocally regarded as capitalist democracies so it also seems possible that a literature developed for Western capitalist democracies should be useful in the postcommunist context. This article argues that, in spite of their assertions to the contrary, postcommunist studies propose no new concepts or variables for the study of business-government relations. Moreover, a detailed case study of Poland demonstrates the applicability of Western models to a postcommunist context. The confrontation between Western models and postcommunist data does not "stretch" the models but, in some important respects, actually clarifies them.
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