Politics and Society
With Dorothee Bohle
This article argues that the quiet politics of informal business-state interaction explains the political determinants of growth regimes. Building on the business power literature within the study of comparative capitalism, it shows that the noisy politics of elections often leads to changes of government but rarely to fundamental changes in the growth regime. Rather, growth models can be traced to the interactions and interests of dominant corporations within a country and its policymaking elites. The argument is developed through a comparative case study research design, using the case of foreign direct investment–led (FDI-led) growth in Ireland and Hungary. FDI-led growth regimes are a universe of cases that rely on state-led industrial and enterprise policies targeting the capital investment of foreign-owned multinational firms. Despite periods of noisy electoral politics challenging basic tenets of the FDI-led growth model in both Hungary and Ireland, the continuity of FDI-oriented growth is traced to the corporate politics of business-state elite deals.