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The paper examines the degree of interlocking directorships across the major Eurozone economies. It uses the major stock market indices in France, Germany, Italy, the…
The paper examines the degree of interlocking directorships across the major Eurozone economies. It uses the major stock market indices in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium to identify the top of the corporate elite in each country. For the period of 2005–2008, it studies transnational links between European companies. The paper draws attention to a number of features of these interlocks. Firstly transnational interlocks remain relatively low but secondly they do vary considerably. An important issue here is the degree of bilateral integration which is occurring between some countries within the Eurozone, for example France and Belgium, and the degree to which other countries, most notably, Italy are increasingly disconnected, whilst the two most powerful economies, France and Germany, are very weakly connected. This variability reflects a series of structural divides between big business in the Eurozone that makes it difficult for this corporate elites to be cohesive at the European level.
The paper argues that the form, structure and ideologies of elites are embedded in particular forms of capitalism. Whilst elites in these different societies are engaged…
The paper argues that the form, structure and ideologies of elites are embedded in particular forms of capitalism. Whilst elites in these different societies are engaged in a common task of ensuring that their position is sustained and protected in the light of economic and political uncertainties, the way in which they are able to do this is shaped by the particular forms of legitimation, coordination and cohesion that are embedded in particular institutional trajectories, path dependencies and complementarities. However, the paper emphasizes that these institutional structures are dependent on particular international economic orders and when these change either over the short or the long term, elites often find themselves struggling to maintain their position without significant changes. The paper examines firstly how the long-term change from Keynesianism to neo-liberalism in the international economic order led to changes in the terrain on which elites in different countries formed and exercised power and secondly how the immediate and drastic short-term changes in the global economy arising from the financial crisis has impacted on elites.