The Capitalist State and the Rule of Capital: Problems in the Analysis of Business Associations

Bob Jessop

This on-line version is the pre-copyedited, preprint version. The published version can be found here:

‘The capitalist state and the rule of capital: problems in the analysis of business associations’, West European Politics, 6 (2), 139-62, 1983.


This paper explore some theoretical problems involved in making an adequate empirical analysis of employers’ organizations and trade associations as representatives of capitalist interests in bourgeois society. It is not directly concerned with determining how much influence specific organizations may have in particular cases but, rather, tries to establish what is involved in asking such questions and whether they can be answered. In this context it criticizes the basic assumptions informing most pluralist, corporatist, and Marxist studies of the interests of capital, the nature of political representation, and the adequacy of policy outcomes to the requirements of capitalist reproduction. It also offers an alternative analytical scheme based on the ideas of…

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