SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT AND INTERNATIONAL
Government Business Relations
Semester One 2015
Professor John Kane
Room: N72, -1.29
Thursday 10.00 - 12.00
N22 Theatre 1
Success in business is underpinned by a sound understanding of government business relations. Politics is a central feature of our lives – issues such as globalisation, international trade and climate change are the subject of front-page headlines and nightly news bulletins. These issues can have a direct impact on millions of people across the globe. All citizens have a stake in understanding the politics that lie behind these events, and how they are affected by them. For these reasons alone, this course is important – it helps to make sense of the seemingly mystifying and chaotic world we live in. Politics is also critical to business. This is because almost every aspect of the commercial world – from taxation to pollution control and from consumer regulation to employment law – is shaped by political decisions. As a result business success often depends on understanding and successfully engaging in the political process. For this reason, this course is essential for business students.
The course explores the impact that government and business have on one another in a national and international context and asks what consequences these relationships have for both government and business. It will provide insights into how government policies and practice affect business, and how business influences and relates to government, particularly in a period of extended financial crisis. While the Australian political system is used as a point of reference, extensive international comparisons are also made. The course also provides insights into the political practices and business culture of some of Australia’s major trading partners.
In order to explore these themes the course initially introduces central concepts in the study of politics and then describes the main institutions and actors in government business relations. Having established this foundation the course explores government business relations in comparative perspective before examining some of the most significant international political issues affecting business including: global environmental regulation, trans-national corporate governance and globalisation, and managing systemic international financial crisis.
Module A: Government and its effect on business
In this module we examine the political context in which business operates. Since politics has such an important influence on business, a sound understanding of government business relations requires familiarity with the major political institutions, processes and actors. We will explore how political systems are characterised by specific structures that determine how power is allocated amongst the various levels of government. The way a political system is structured is important because it impacts on business in terms of infrastructure and regulations. Furthermore, we will gain an insight into political institutions such as parliament and cabinet, as well as political actors like parties, interest groups and individual politicians; they all play an important role in shaping the political and subsequently the business environment.
Module B: Government and business interactions
In this module we will examine the impact of globalisation on the interaction between business and government in various contexts, starting with Australia and then examining
America, China, Japan and Europe. In each case we will focus on a different aspect of government business relations, and make a comparative exploration of the responses of particular countries to the challenges of dealing with the Global