To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Business Elites and Undemocracy in Britain: A Work in Progress

Elites on Trial

ISBN: 978-1-78441-680-5, eISBN: 978-1-78441-679-9

ISSN: 0733-558X

Publication date: 10 February 2015

Abstract

This exploratory paper discusses the undemocratic agenda setting of elites in Britain and how it has changed politics within a form of capitalism where much is left undisclosed in terms of mechanism and methods. It argues for a more radical exploratory strategy using C. Wright Mills’ understanding that what is left undisclosed is crucially important to elite existence and power, while recognising the limits on democratic accountability when debate, decision and action in complex capitalist societies can be frustrated or hijacked by small groups. Have British business elites, through their relation with political elites, used their power to constrain democratic citizenship? Our hypothesis is that the power of business elites is most likely conjuncturally specific and geographically bounded with distinct national differences. In the United Kingdom, the outcomes are often contingent and unstable as business elites try to manage democracy; moreover, the composition and organisation of business elites have changed through successive conjunctures.

Keywords

Citation

Bowman, A., Froud, J., Johal, S., Moran, M. and Williams, K. (2015), "Business Elites and Undemocracy in Britain: A Work in Progress", Elites on Trial (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 43), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 305-336. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X20150000043023

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015 Emerald Group Publishing Limited