International relations urgently needs theoretical development that takes into the account the power of non-state actors, in particular business. The present paper aims to prepare the ground for such theoretical development by analysing the political power of business along three dimensions: its instrumental, structural, and discursive power. The paper discusses the extent to which business's political power has grown in each of the dimensions. While the analysis indicates that the political power of business in general and corporate actors in particular has increased in certain areas, it also highlights limits and challenges to this power. Specifically, the paper argues that the `commanding heights' to which business allegedly has climbed are built on shaky ground. This, in turn, implies the need for any IR theory that takes non-state actors into account to develop and include a new concept of vulnerability of political power.
|Number of pages||41|
|Publication status||Published - 30 Oct 2004|