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Palgrave Macmillan

Business Groups and Transnational Capitalism in Central America

Economic and Political Strategies

ISBN 9781137359391
Publication Date July 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series International Political Economy Series

Business Groups and Transnational Capitalism in Central America investigates Central America's political economy through the lens of its powerful diversified business groups. It provides unique insight into their strategies when confronted with a globalized economy, their impact on development, and how they shape the political and economic institutions governing local varieties of capitalism. This study is based on the collection of data on sixty-nine of the largest groups from the six countries of the isthmus – Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama – and combines qualitative and quantitative methods. It seeks to analyze historical trajectories of individual groups and their evolution in distinct national contexts as well as their contributions to innovation and exports. The analysis shows that the business groups have formed alliances with multinational companies (MNCs), but are not in the process of being absorbed by them. Rather they shift sector focus and exploit their networks in order to face competition from MNCs.

Benedicte Bull is Professor at the Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), University of Oslo and director of the Norwegian Network for Latin America Research. She holds a PhD in Political Science (2003) and has published widely on development theory, Latin American political economy and governance and international institutions.

Fulvio Castellacci is Director at the TIK Centre, University of Oslo and Research Professor at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI). He holds a PhD in Innovation Studies from the University of Oslo (2004) and a PhD in Economics from the University of Rome La Sapienza (2005). His fields of interest are the economics of innovation, international and development economics.

Yuri Kasahara was a Research Associate at SUM, University of Oslo during the work with this book, and is currently Senior Researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR). He holds a PhD in Political Science from the Instituto Universitario de Pesquisas do Rio de Janeiro (2009). His areas of interest are political economy, Latin American politics, and state-business relations.

1. Introduction: the Emergence and Evolution of Business Groups in Central America
2. Between Hierarchies and Networks: Understanding Business Group Strategies in a Global Capitalism
3. Regional Shifts and National Trajectories: Differences in the Context and Strategies of Business Groups
4. From Oligarchs to Transnational Business Group Leaders? The Shifting Strategies of Key Business Groups
5. Internationalization and the Export Performance of the Central American Business Groups
6. Central American Business Groups, Innovation and Institutional Conditions
7. The Role of the State: Governmental Financial Policies and Business Group Strategies
8. Between the Back and the Front Stage – the Political Strategies of Central American Business Groups
9. Conclusion


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