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Who Governs?

Bill Clinton & the Emergence of the Global Investment Class
Brian SCHMITT

Résumé

The 1980s saw the ongoing transformation of the US economy toward a post-industrial economy that focused on finance, ICT (information & communication technologies), and intellectual property. In addition, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991 set into place a dramatic restructuring of international relations, including the opportunity for a more unified global economy. The stage was set for the first post-Cold War presidential election. This paper argues that the new business leaders emerging out the economic restructuring represent a new “global investment class” that shares a set of strategic priorities which lead them to support the young and ambitious “New Democrat,” Bill Clinton over the established liberal Republican, George H. W. Bush. After (1) a short introduction, the paper (2) describes the global investment class and its strategies for expansion; (3) reviews the problem that the US victory in the Cold War left for the foreign policy establishment; (4) analyzes how differences between Bush and Clinton lead the GIC to prefer the latter; (5) discusses how the fusion of Clinton and the GIC represents, in C. Wright Mills term, a new “ruling epoch;” and (6) ends with a conclusion.

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Texte intégral

1 Introduction

  • 1 Gilens, Martin, and Benjamin I. Page. “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Grou (...)

1With the end of the Soviet Union and the collapse of socialism, a new political-economic formula emerged with the election of Bill Clinton in 1992. In that election, Clinton’s New Democratic Party became the preferred political party for an emerging coalition of business leaders which I call the global investment class (GIC). This paper investigates why in the first post-Cold War presidential election the global investment class came to support the young and inexperienced draft-dodger, William Jefferson Clinton, over the older, more experienced George W. Bush. The perspective adopted here emphasizes the importance of business and political leaders as being the key agents in determining US policy priorities, a perspective that has recently received strong empirical support in the work of Gilens and Page (2014).1

2This paper describes the emergence of a new group of US-based, globally-focused transnational firms that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s and why these firms sided with the New Democratic Party. The paper is divided into six parts. Part 2 describes this new investment class and its strategies for global expansion. Part 3 looks at the void created by the ending of the Cold War, what it meant for US foreign policy and, more particularly, trade policy. Part 4 examines the 1992 presidential election in light of the needs of the GIC and argues that there is strong circumstantial evidence that the GIC preferred Clinton over Bush. Part 5 discusses how the 1992 election marked the continued decline of liberal conservatives in the Republican Party and began, to use C. Wright Mills’ term, a new "epoch of power." Part 6 is a short conclusion.

2 The Global Investment Class

  • 2 The concept of a "global investment class" differs from Robinson’s notion of a "transnational capit (...)

3This section briefly defines the “global investment class” (GIC), a specific group of firms with specific strategies who require a specific kind of globalization. The GIC is an important analytic construct because it emphasizes particular agents promoting global economic integration. Only by identifying economic agents can we investigate their strategies for expansion and then determine their particular political needs.2

  • 3 Philippon, Thomas. “Why Has the U.S. Financial Sector Grown so Much? The Role of Corporate Finance. (...)
  • 4 Krippner, Greta R. “The Financialization of the American Economy.” Socio-Economic Review 3, 2005, p (...)
  • 5 Star Wars numbers are from “Box Office History for Star Wars Movies,” The Numbers: Where Data and t (...)
  • 6 Hoad, Phil. “Hollywood’s Hold over Global Box Office – 63% and Falling.” The Guardian, April 2, 201 (...)

4Membership in the GIC is based on three characteristics: sector, strategy, and scope. The GIC consists of firms from three broad sectors: (1) globally-oriented financial institutions, (2) the information, communication, and technology (ICT) sectors, and (3) transnational corporations dependent on intellectual property (e.g., pharmaceuticals, the film and recording industries, software firms, and others.) These three sectors have changed dramatically since the 1970s. Financial services have gone from representing around 4.0 percent of US GDP in the 1970s to nearly 8.0 percent in 2006.3 There has also been increasing use of financial engineering in non-financial sectors.4 Telecommunication in the US has gone from a nationally-sanctioned monopoly to a collection of global firms competing in a world market. Similarly, the personal computer and cell phone markets, which did not exist in 1970, are today multi-billion dollar markets shipping tens of millions of units per year. The profitability of firms in these sectors has skyrocketed. The global receipts of the US film industry have also exploded over this same period. The top block-buster in 1977, Star Wars, had domestic receipts of $461 million and global receipts of $337; in 1997; Titanic had global receipts of $1.8 billion; more than two-thirds of which was earned outside of the US.5 And despite a slight downward tick over the past few years, US-made films still account for nearly two-thirds of the industry’s global receipts.6

  • 7 Geisst, Charles R. Wall Street : A History. New York, Oxford University Press, 2004. p. 332
  • 8 Arora, Ashish, Andrea Fosfuri, and Alfonso Gambardella. Markets for Technology: The Economics of In (...)
  • 9 Ibid. p. 285.

5Not every firm in the sectors identified above is necessarily a member of the GIC. Thus, a second characteristic of firms in the GIC is their strategy for expansion: GIC firms are transaction-oriented and highly acquisitive at a global scale. GIC firms buy technology, other GIC firms, intellectual property, human ingenuity, and potential competitors and they seek these opportunities throughout the world. Geisst has documented how in the 1970s investment banking turned from a relationship-based business to a transaction-based business model.7 Arora et al. suggest that a propensity for deal-making is also a characteristic of technology markets.8 Some firms are destined to be be short-lived, to rise up and create a technology, only to be dissolved once that technology is commercialized and the firms resources are re-allocated for their most efficient use. These companies are more like "projects" than traditional firms "possibly built up around some intellectual property rights".9

  • 10 Economics and Statistics Administration and United States Patent and Trademark Office. “Intellectua (...)

6The third characteristic of GIC firms is the scope of the assets which they acquire. While the GIC firms are most associated with three sectors, in practice they are active across a much broader range of opportunities. What these opportunities have in common is intellectual property (IP). The importance of IP to the new economy was quantified in a report issued by the Commerce Department which concluded that IP-intensive industries contributed more than $5 trillion dollars to the US gross domestic product, nearly 35 percent of the total.10

7A brief comparison between Walmart, a “traditional multinational” and Microsoft, an early example of a GIC firm, reveals substantial differences in their international growth strategies. Walmart began in 1962, was incorporated in 1969, and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. Today, Walmart operates over 11,000 retail units under 71 brands in 27 countries and employs 2.2 million people.11 But Walmart was a slow-start to international expansion. It’s first move outside the US came in 1991, when it signed a joint venture agreement with Cifra, the Mexican supermarket chain. Three years later it made its first full foreign acquisition when it acquired 122 Woolworth stores in Canada. In 1996—nearly thirty years after its incorporation—it took a 65-percent ownership stake in a Chinese retail chain run, at the time, by the son of a prominent Chinese politician. Walmart has continued to grow internationally but its expansion requires investments in tangible assets, buying-up whole retail chains or investing in joint-ventures. But its reliance on investing in tangible assets has sometimes lead to negative results.12

  • 13 Numbers are from “List of Mergers and Acquisitions by Microsoft.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. (...)

8By contrast, Microsoft’s international growth was much more rapid and more variegated. Incorporated in 1975, Microsoft went public in 1986, and made its first acquisition the next year. Since 1987, Microsoft has purchased more than 160 companies, forty-seven of them outside the United States. The pace of its acquisitions increased substantially over this period. Between 1987 and 1993, Microsoft acquired just three companies; between 1994 and 2000 it acquired 50; and between 2001 and 2012, it acquired 95. Microsoft has also been very active in taking stakes in other firms: between 1989 and 1995 it took a stake in six firms (one of which was outside of the US); between 1996 and 1999 it took stakes in thirty-six companies, ten of which were located outside of the US.13

9Microsoft’s acquisitions are also much more diverse than Walmart’s. While the majority of Microsoft’s acquisitions have been software-related, it also also made large investments in Internet service providers, radio and television, telecommunications, mobile phones, video games, book publishers, and more. By contrast, nearly all of Walmart’s investment have been large retail chains.

  • 14 On the connections between US business interests and the US government policies see Galbraith, John (...)

10The US economy has changed dramatically since the 1980s. Firms and even whole sectors that did not exist thirty years ago are, today, multi-billion dollar industries. Given the close connections between business and government throughout US history, it would be surprising that the rise of these GIC firms would not have political consequences.14

3 The Fog of Peace

11While the collapse of the socialism was heralded as a victory for democracy and capitalism, it also meant the loss of the American foreign policy establishment’s raison d’etre. The effects of winning the peace were substantial but not immediately comprehensible. Rather suddenly, the US foreign policy establishment found itself in an unexpected fog of peace.

  • 15 See, for example, Yankelovich, Daniel, and I. M. Destler. Beyond the Beltway: Engaging the Public i (...)

12The loss of its nemesis coupled with apparent economic threats from all sides, pushed the US foreign policy establishment to search for a new goal around which it could organize policy.15 The search played out in various foreign policy think tanks and the academy. In the early 1990s, many articles appeared in The National Interest, Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Policy posing questions about “America’s purpose.”

  • 16 Alterman, Eric. Who Speaks for America?: Why Democracy Matters in Foreign Policy. Ithaca, NY, Corne (...)
  • 17 The term “free trade” is itself contestable. Much of what gets included in free trade agreements su (...)

13One candidate for taking center stage in a new post-Cold War foreign policy was free trade. Like anti-communism, free trade was strongly supported by business leaders across the political spectrum.16 But while there was broad ideological support for the idea of free trade there were practical differences on what the term meant as policy, as well as strategic differences on how best to purse it politically.17

14For one thing, the nature of trade was changing. By the end of the 1980s, many of the world’s economies were already relatively open after seven rounds of GATT negotiations. But the GATT framework was predicated on trade in goods not services and investments. It was only in the Uruguay Round, which began in 1986, that non-tariff barriers began to assume a bigger role. This was important because the changing nature of US competitive advantage was in services and intellectual property—finance, the ICT sectors, media and the film industry, as well as in law and business services—precisely the sectors that comprise the GIC.

  • 18 Orme, Willam A. Understanding Nafta: Mexico, Free Trade, and the New North America. Austin, Texas: (...)

15Hence the significance of NAFTA. Orme notes that a better name for NAFTA would have been the “North American Investment Agreement.”18 Most of the text was devoted to investment rules aimed exclusively at Mexico. If implemented, NAFTA would put guarantees on investment protections for international investors.

  • 19 Ibid., p. 130.

...[NAFTA] binds Mexico to strict new patent rules on pharmaceuticals and computer software. It enhances the security of investments in Mexican stocks and other financial instruments, since Mexico cannot obstruct the repatriation of profits by bureaucratic delays and punitive exchange rates. NAFTA ensures that all American and Canadian businesses in Mexico are treated in Mexican law exactly like local Mexican companies...19

16But the successful conclusion of GATT and the ratification of NAFTA were not foregone conclusions. Whoever won the presidency in 1992 would have to overcome two challenges.

17First, despite the purported objective of free trade—getting governments out of the market—implementing free trade would require strong government intervention. Cowhey and Aronoson, professors of international relations with connections to the telecommunications industry, expressly called for more US government involvement in international trade policy.

  • 20 Cowhey, Peter F., and Jonathan D. Aronson. “A New Trade Order.” Foreign Affairs, January 1, 1992.

It is impossible today [1992] to sustain the traditional American arms-length relationship between business and government on which world trade rules rested after 1945. The redistribution of much economic power to Japan and Europe means that new styles of industrial organization—more intimate relations between governments and firms, as well as among firms—place increasing pressures on that longstanding American approach.20

  • 21 Op. cit. Alterman, pp. 116-121.
  • 22 Op. cit. Hurstm 1999, pp. 187-188; Op. Cit. Garten, 1993.
  • 23 Faux, Geoffrey. The Global Class War : How America’s Bipartisan Elite Lost Our Future, and What It (...)

18Second, although most of the leaders in the two political parties were in favor of free trade, two-thirds of Americans were opposed to it.21 There was also opposition among members of Congress.22 Some conservative Republicans were opposed to NAFTA (and later to the WTO) because they saw it as giving up American sovereignty. There was also opposition in the Democratic party from middle-class liberals concerned about the environmental consequences of free trade, as well as from blue-collar workers worried about a race to the bottom if they were forced to compete with countries with little or no labor or safety regulations.23

  • 24 Yergin, Daniel. The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power. New York, NY, Free Press, 2008.

19Before turning to the 1992 presidential election, it is helpful to put these previous sections into the broader historical context. First, the previous section sought to describe the emergence of a new group of globally-oriented businesses who share a similar set of strategies for expansion. But their emergence does not deny the existence of other economic and political actors with different strategies and expectations about what US foreign policy should have looked like in the post-Cold War era. It is beyond the scope of this paper to explore the various perspectives, but two groups are worth recognizing. First, I have barely mentioned the economic interests of the extraction industries, especially oil and gas, which play a significant and on-going role in shaping US foreign policy.24 Second, on the political front, neo-conservatives who are a significant faction in the foreign policy establishment are not covered here. I argue rather that both of these groups were side-lined, at least temporarily, when Clinton and a new set of business leaders pursued their foreign policy goals. Indeed, the wars in Afghanistan in 2001 and in Iraq in 2003—and the entire Bush, Jr.’s foreign policy—only reinforce the unusual historical moment that was Clinton’s eight years in office.

20Second, the sense of unity among GIC firms needs to qualified. The previous section should not be read as some kind of tacit agreement between business leaders to unilaterally impose a new world order; even less so as some kind of conspiracy theory. The GIC firms mentioned here do compete against each other, oftentimes ferociously. But this inter-firm competition does not mean that these firms cannot share specific expectations about the direction of US foreign policy and about how the world economy should be organized in a post-Cold War era. Of course, multinational corporations in manufacturing or retail support free trade. But GIC firms had their own political needs in the 1990s that were not simply about further reducing already low tariffs. Rather GIC firms needed that foreign markets in the financial services, telecommunications, and ICT sectors be opened up to outside investment. They needed intellectual property protections to be implemented and enforceable in a court of law. These needs do not deny inter-firm competition; indeed, they form the basis for it.

21No group had more to gain from a new international trade regime than the emerging GIC. The challenges were significant but not insurmountable. The question was: which presidential candidate was better placed to promote its cause?

4 The 1992 presidential election and the GIC

  • 25 Ruggie, John Gerard. Winning the Peace: America and World Order in the New Era. New York, NY, Colum (...)

22The fall of communism presented tremendous opportunities for businesses with global aspirations. It also presented political opportunities. In this section I argue that the GIC preferred the entrepreneurial Bill Clinton to the mature George H. W. Bush because Clinton was better placed to advance its interests. Both Bush and Clinton were internationalists, but as Ruggie notes “significant differences exist among various forms of internationalism..."25 The argument here is not that there were fundamental differences between the two candidates, but there were important differences between them.

23The first section looks at the pre-election landscape; the second examines Clinton’s legislative agenda. To an extent, both the pre- and post-election evidence is circumstantial and interpretive. Nonetheless, the narrative is coherent and consistent. It suggests that Bill Clinton played a more significant role in globalization than has been recognized.

4.1 Pre-Election Evidence

24Several reasons stand out as to why the GIC might have preferred Clinton to Bush. First, evidence suggests that Clinton and the Democrats had a much better understanding of the global picture and the changes needed in US foreign policy. Second, Clinton had a more compelling political strategy than Bush for getting NAFTA through Congress. Third, there were questions of character and commitment which, ironically perhaps, favored the ambitious Clinton over the cautious elder statesman Bush.

4.1.1 Clinton’s big picture understanding

25Throughout the Democratic primaries and the later presidential election, Clinton offered a coherent and promising assessment of the historical moment. During the campaign he explained repeatedly to the American people that the world was changing and that the old economy would have to adapt to the demands of the new global economy based on new technologies, “freer trade,” and international competition. Clinton offered America the high road:

  • 26 Op. cit. Garten.

Well before he was elected, Clinton was promising to recast the entire intellectual basis of U.S. trade policy. Trade was to be an integral part of creating competitive industries and high-wage jobs. It was to be placed at the center of foreign policy, becoming at least as important as political and security questions. Clinton had promised to remove the ideological blinders that caused government and industry to regard one another as antagonists. He had committed his administration to putting the issues of environmental and labor practices into trade negotiations.26

26At the same time, notables in the Democratic party seemed much better placed to see and to understand the reality behind Clinton’s rhetoric. The Cowhey and Aronson article cited earlier was a veritable manifesto describing a new trade policy which they called "market access regime." Two aspects of this new approach were (1) the need for government involvement and (2) the switch in focus from trade in goods to new rules on investments and the opening up of domestic markets to foreign service providers.

  • 27 Op. cit. Cowhey and Aronson.

The post-1945 free trade regime removed barriers at borders and established limited rights of investment. The emerging regime is more flexible about border barriers, but more demanding about access for investment and the international review of domestic policies to assure fair market competition.27

  • 28 Peter F. Cowhey’s curriculum vitae is available from the University of California San Diego web sit (...)

27Significantly, both authors had connections to the Democratic Party. Cowhey later went on to serve in the Clinton administration and negotiated U.S. international agreements for telecommunications and satellite services. Earlier in his career, Aronson had volunteered for Thomas Eagleton, the progressive Democratic Senator from Missouri.28

  • 29 Hurst, Steven. The Foreign Policy of the Bush Administration : In Search of a New World Order. New (...)

28There is also evidence suggesting a lack of understanding among the Bush insiders. The Uruguay Round was supposed to focus on the expansion of GATT to cover trade in agriculture and goods, and to address trade in services and investments. As Hurst makes clear "...services, Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), and Trade Related Investment Measures (TRIMS) were the key US objectives…".29 But rather than prioritize the needs of the GIC the Bush administration appears to have pushed hard against European agricultural subsidies. Hurst explains:

  • 30 Ibid. p. 185.

The US had raised the issue of agricultural liberalization in earlier rounds of the GATT only to abandon it in the face of EU intransigence. In the Uruguay round, however, Washington stuck to its demands with far greater tenacity.30

  • 31 Dwyer, Amy S. “Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.” In The GATT Uruguay Round: T (...)

29The Round was scheduled to come to a close in December 1990 but with no completed treaty, the negotiations were extended. The sticking points were agriculture, market access, and services. But evidence suggests that it was the debate between the US and the European Community over that latter’s agricultural subsidies that was preventing progress on market access and trade in services.31 Developing countries were reluctant to make concessions on the latter two issues, while the first was unresolved.

30Rolling back agricultural subsidies in the European Community might have been important to Republican supporters from the heartland who had seen their exports to Europe slip since the subsidies began in 1973, but it was not a way to win friends in the GIC. The Bush administration’s decision to push hard on dismantling the European agricultural subsidies—even when it meant foregoing progress on market access and trade in services—suggests a broader lapse in the its understanding of the transformations that were happening in the US economy. By failing to incorporate the priorities of the emerging GIC, the Bush team created an opening for Clinton.

4.1.2 Advantages of Clinton’s political strategy

  • 32 Op. cit., Orme 1996, p. 100.
  • 33 Ibid. p. 100.

31A second area where Clinton had advantages over Bush was Clinton’s political strategy for getting NAFTA through the Democratically-controlled Congress. NAFTA was crucial to the GIC because it represented the first step in the new market access regime articulated by Cowhey and Aronson. Clinton’s choice of Al Gore as his running mate signaled his own commitment to getting NAFTA through Congress: Gore was one of the few Democratic Senators who voted to give President Bush fast track authority when negotiating the treaty. Orme notes that Gore was “a free-trader of the industrial policy school and would provide invaluable environmental cover if a Clinton Administration had to push NAFTA through a recalcitrant Congress.”32 Nor was Gore alone. Many of Clinton’s economic advisors were pro-NAFTA, including Robert Reich, Robert Rubin, and Richard Feinberg, Clinton’s chief advisor on Latin American policy.33

  • 34 Patterson, James. Restless Giant : The United States from Watergate to Bush v. Gore. New York, NY, (...)
  • 35 Op cit. Alterman, 1998, p. 110.
  • 36 Alan Murray gives a good example of libertarian opposition to government intervention. Reacting to (...)
  • 37 In his lengthy essay in Foreign Affairs on the history of neoconservatism, John Judis mentions trad (...)

32By contrast, the Republican party was much less unified. The collapse of communism undermined the coalition’s long-standing consensus on foreign policy.34 With no common enemy to keep them together, the foreign policy consensus unraveled. Contradictions between isolationists, unilateralists, and multilateraists prevented any new consensus being built around free-trade. Social conservatives were the most outspoken critics of free trade because, they argued, it would undermine American sovereignty.35 Libertarians were in favor of free trade but took their laissez-faire rhetoric to heart and failed to appreciate the amount of government intervention it would take.36 Neo-conservatives were in favor of free trade but tended to sacrifice US commercial interests for geopolitical advantages.37 They were also much more likely to have links to the extraction industries (oil and gas) whose foreign policy priorities differed greatly from those of the new economy.

  • 38 Op. cit., Busby and Monten, 2012.
  • 39 Deibel, Terry. “Bush’s Foreign Policy: Mastery and Inaction.” Foreign Policy 84, 1991, pp. 3–23.
  • 40 Op. cit.,Orme, 1996, pp. 78-81.

33Liberal Republicans, like Bush, Sr.—internationalists and multilateralist—prioritized US commercial interests, but they were an increasingly weak voice in the Republican coalition. And, as we saw, Bush failed to appreciate the important changes going on around him.38 He spoke vaguely of a “new world order,” but as Deibel wrote in Foreign Policy, "Although the president’s speeches featured a great deal of rhetoric about a ‘new world order, Bush never defined its content..."39 Nor did Bush appreciate the importance of trade and investment to these emerging economic elites. Though in favor of NAFTA, he seemed unwilling to commit time and energy to the project.40 Finally, having announced during the campaign that he was opposed to side agreements on environment and labor, Bush had tied his hands with regard to negotiations with the Democratically controlled Congress.

  • 41 Op. cit., Charnovitz 1994, p. 3. Quoting Clinton.

34Of course, cleavages also existed in the Democratic Party. The old liberal-labor coalition that had existed going back to the New Deal had frayed, costing the Democrats all but one of the six presidential elections since 1968. But Clinton had been clear throughout the campaigns that he was a “new” Democrat. He said that he would not change anything in the NAFTA treaty and that he would insist on side agreements that would "require each country to enforce its own environmental and worker standards."41 The longterm impact of these side agreements is debatable, but the short-term political advantage they gave Clinton was clear. NAFTA approval—the linchpin to a new international trade regime—could not go forward without the acquiescence of organized labor and environmentalists. Clinton, the master triangulator, used the side agreement promise to stake out a middle ground between the Republicans who opposed all side agreements and the labor and environmentalists who wanted very strong ones.

4.1.3 Character and timing

  • 42 Op. cit., Patterson, 2005, p. 319.

35A third area where Clinton appealed to the GIC was his character. Young and ambitious, but without any personal financial resources, Clinton was a candidate in search of a constituency and funding. He also had an almost pathological need to please and an incredible capacity to connect with average Americans.42 As was often said about Clinton, when you can imitate sincerity, there is nothing that can stop you. He must have seemed the ideal candidate for leading the American people towards an open and global world economy.

36Bush, by contrast, was prone to misspeaking and suffered from the “wimp” label. And as the famous sock-buying incident revealed, he was out of touch with the average American. This was not only a view shared among the rank-and-file voters, but also something articulated by foreign policy insiders in Washington, DC:

  • 43 Mandelbaum, Michael. “The Bush Foreign Policy.” Foreign Affairs, January 1, 1990.

...George Bush is, personally and politically, a product of the Cold War. He could hardly be anything else. His skills, ideas and political constituency were acquired in a time when the great rivalry with the Soviet Union dominated America’s relations with the rest of the world. These qualities served him and the nation well at the end of the 1980s, but they are likely to be far less useful in the era ahead.43

  • 44 Deibel made the same point in Foreign Policy. Op. Cit., Deibel, 1991.
  • 45 Deibel was at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service before becoming Professor of National Strate (...)

37What is interesting about this critique—that Bush’s hour was now past—is that it seems to have been common enough at the time that two of the most influential policy journals in the US—Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs—published articles making this point.44 It suggests that there was a consensus among at least some elites that a second term for Bush was not in America’s best interests.45

4.2 Post-Election Evidence: Clinton’s legislative agenda

  • 46 Luttwak, Edward N. “From Geopolitics to Geo-Economics: Logic of Conflict, Grammar of Commerce.” The (...)

38As Luttwak anticipated, declining military threats would lead to an increased concern for economic matters, a turn from geo-politics toward “geo-economics”.46 And this is exactly what Clinton pushed:

  • 47 Hoff, Joan. A Faustian Foreign Policy from Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush : Dreams of Perfectibil (...)

The only consistent diplomatic hallmark of the Clinton presidency can be found in his promotion of ‘economism’ in foreign policy. Comparing the United States to a ‘big corporation competing in the global market place,’ Clinton and such cabinet members as Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown, Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, Secretary of Treasury Robert Rubin, Trade Representative Mickey Kantor, and Secretary of State Warren Christopher unapologetically placed economic security at the top of their foreign policy agenda in their pursuit of a particular type of globalization.47

39But a more careful investigation shows that there were clear winners in Clinton’s economism. This section shows how the economic interests of the GIC became the foreign policy priorities of the Clinton Administration.

4.2.1 Successful passage of NAFTA

40If there was one policy priority that united everyone in the GIC, it was the ratification of NAFTA. NAFTA had concrete and symbolic importance. Concretely, it would be the first large-scale international treaty to protect investments as opposed to simply reducing tariffs on goods. Symbolically, it would set a precedent for a new international order in which the interests of international investors would be prioritized over national laws. Clinton’s success was not the negotiation of the treaty, which had been signed in December 1992 by President Bush, President Salinas, and Prime Minister Mulroney, but his ability to negotiate its passage through Congress.

  • 48 Op. cit., Alterman, 1998, Ch. 4 The New World Order: Trading Away Democracy, pp. 102-22. See also, (...)
  • 49 Op. cit., Orme, 1996, p. 6.
  • 50 Op. cit., Faux, 2006, p. 23.

41Clinton’s electoral maneuvering proved to be smart policy, too.48 By declaring that nothing in the treaty would be changed he was able to maintain the confidence of the business class. While side agreements were strongly opposed by both Mexico and Canada, neither Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney nor Mexican president Carlos Salinas could risk failure.49 Clinton’s side agreements strategy addressed the concerns of important members of the Democratic coalition. They dampened opposition from the labor wing of the Democratic coalition and divided and weakened opposition from the environmental constituencies.50

42The significant role that Clinton played in fighting for NAFTA was recognized by members of the GIC.

  • 51 Op. cit., Faux, 2006, 25 citing MacArthur, 2001, 275.

When the NAFTA vote had been won, James Robinson, former head of American Express, said, ‘NAFTA happened because of the drive Bill Clinton gave it. He stood up against his two prime constituents, labor and environment, to drive it home over their dead bodies.’51

4.2.2 Prioritizing the interests of financial services

  • 52 Atlas, John, and Peter Dreier. “The Conservative Origins of the Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis.” The Ame (...)

43Since the 1980s, there had been broad support at the tops of both parties for deregulation of the financial sector. Clinton continued the trend.52 But looking at Clinton’s inner-circle suggests that he was particularly responsive to the needs of Wall Street. The most prominent example was his choice of Bob Rubin to lead the newly created National Economic Council—a sort of National Security Council for the economy—and later to appoint him as Secretary of the Treasury (1995 to 1999). Rubin had been a successful fund-raiser for the party while he was a partner at the New York investment bank of Goldman Sachs. As head of the NEC, Rubin’s role was to coordinate the administration’s foreign and domestic economic policies. The change was symbolic of Clinton’s strategy to promote US economic interests to the same level as US security interests.

  • 53 Wartell, Sarah Rosen. “The White House: National Economic Council.” In Mark Green and Michele Jolin (...)

President Clinton called the NEC the single most significant organizational innovation that his administration made in the White House. The reason was clear: it pulled international and economic policy together in a single White House-based coordinating council committed to a deliberative process with the NEC serving, first and foremost, as the honest broker.53

  • 54 Op. cit., Faux, 2006, Ch. 6 Alan, Larry, and Bob Save the Privileged, pp. 108-126

44It was also Rubin, among others, who pushed Clinton to prioritize the federal deficit over health care as the primary concern of his first administration.54 After the 1994 elections when the Democrats lost heavily in the House of Representatives, there was backlash within the Democratic Party that Clinton had lurched too far to the center.

  • 55 Johnson, Simon, and James Kwak. 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdow (...)

Rubin, however, favored the administration’s centrist course, maintaining a pro-business stance and focusing on deficit reduction. Clinton sided with Rubin, confirming the Democrats’ transformation into a market oriented, business-friendly party that could be trusted by Wall Street.55

  • 56 Ibid., pp. 99-101.
  • 57 Ibid., p. 133.
  • 58 Ibid., p. 100.
  • 59 Faux (2006), op. cit., makes a similar point. In pushing for NAFTA and a balanced budget Clinton sa (...)

45The culmination of this relationship was the passage of Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999, which repealed Glass-Steagall.56 With Glass-Steagal overturned US banks were now able to combine investment and commercial banking. It’s repeal had long been “at the top of the major commercial banks’ wish list”.57 “The end result was a Democratic Party establishment that no longer took its cues from unions and consumer advocates, but was now openly responding to the needs of globally-oriented finance.”58 Wall Street’s priorities were now Clinton’s priorities.59

4.2.3 Changes to telecommunications laws, domestic & international

  • 60 Kapstein, Ethan. Hegemony Wired : American Politics and the New Economy. The New American Challenge (...)

46A third area in which the Clinton administration embraced the legislative priorities of the GIC was in telecommunications. In Hegemony Wired Ethan Kapstein provides persuasive evidence that from the beginning the Clinton administration was actively involved in revamping domestic telecommunications laws as a demonstration project for international changes. What began as the National Information Infrastructure quickly became the Global Information Infrastructure (GII). Introduced in 1994 by Vice-President Gore the GII required US trading partners to pursue "domestic liberalization and privatization of the ICT sector and openness of that sector to foreign trade and investment—in short, market access on the basis of national treatment..."60

47Kapstein emphasizes the importance and effectiveness of the Clinton-Gore agenda with respect to both domestic and international changes in the sector.

  • 61 Ibid., p. 35.

The Clinton Administration’s vision of the National Information Infrastructure had a global component from the outset. Indeed, while the NII would serve as a catalyst for renewing the domestic ICT infrastructure, one official said that its impact was ‘perhaps most visible abroad’, as it generated ‘waves of studies, commissions, and conferences and eventually helped liberalize trade in the underlying technologies.’61

  • 62 Drake, William J. 2000. “The Rise and Decline of the International Telecommunications Regime.” In C (...)
  • 63 Op. cit., Kapstein, 2000, p. 45.

48US government involvement in pushing for liberalization of the ICT sectors was not new,62 but connections between the Clinton administration and the ICT sector were so tight that they raised concerns about the legitimacy of the rules and the rule-making process.63 What is significant here is not the existence of these connections but rather who is connected and to what extent. Again, Clinton did not just support the goals of the ICT sectors, he championed those goals at home and abroad.

5 Discussion : A change in epochs?

  • 64 Mills, C. Wright. The Power Elite. New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 2000 [1956]. See especial (...)

49In the The Power Elite (1956), C. Wright Mills describes US history as consisting of epochs of power in which three groups of elites—political, economic, and military—jockey for prominence. The American power structure was transformed during World War II and a new epoch, the fifth according to Mills, emerged with the war’s end. In Mills’ view the rise of the military as a permanent participant in US power circles was one of the most significant outcomes of World War II.64

50But with the end of the Cold War and the rise of new business leaders, the established relationships among the economic and political elites changed. On the business front, the financial sector has expanded significantly since the 1980s. The information and communication technologies sectors have also increased dramatically. Companies—entire sectors—that did not exist in 1975 had become household names and hugely profitable just ten years later. This new group of service-providing business leaders had different political needs than the older goods-producing multinationals.

  • 65 Op. cit., Patterson, 2005, p. 122.

51Many of the strands of these changes came together in the early 1990s, and provided the background for the 1992 presidential election. The moment was ripe for an energetic and ambitious political outsider. Bill Clinton and the Democratic Leadership Council turned the Democratic Party towards these emerging sectors of the new economy.65 Clinton’s political agenda left behind the labor wing of the Democratic Party and, as his legislative agenda shows, embraced the needs of sectors that were creating the “new” economy. Clinton did not just support these businesses, he championed for domestic and international policy changes that would directly and disproportionately benefit them. He did so not just on the legislative front, but also on the popular front. In a speech at American University in 1993, Clinton explained the new world order to a group of university students:

  • 66 Roper, Jon. The American Presidents : Heroic Leadership from Kennedy to Clinton. Edinburgh, Scotlan (...)

...the truth of our age is this -- and must be this: Open and competitive commerce will enrich us as a nation. It spurs us to innovate. It forces us to compete. It connects us with new customers. It promotes global growth without which no rich country can hope to grow wealthier. It enables our producers who are themselves consumers of services and raw materials to prosper. And so I say to you in the face of all the pressures to reverse, we must compete, not retreat.66

  • 67 Domhoff, G. William. Who Rules America? Power, Politics, & Social Change 5th Edition. New York, NY, (...)

52According to this narrative, the Reagan presidency (1981 to 1989) can be understood not just as the dawn of neo-liberalism, but also as the sunset of liberal Republicanism. Throughout the post-war period liberal conservatives had accepted the New Deal agenda and compromised with Democrats on economic and foreign policy matters. But what Mills would categorize as the “pragmatic conservatives” (Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon in his day, George Bush, Sr. and Bob Dole, more recently) were aging and loosing out to a younger and more radical conservatism, marked most dramatically in 1994 by the Republican Party’s retaking of the House of Representatives and Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America.” This failure of the Republicans to recognize changes in the economic environment, and the Democrats recognize and act on them, corroborates Domhoff’s contention that the Democratic Party tends to be the first home of “non-establishment elites”.67

53Under Bush, Jr.’s two administrations, neo-conservatives actively pursued their geo-political goals, while letting markets (domestic and international) regulate themselves with ultimately terrible consequences. Bush and Cheney’s neo-conservative unilateralism tarnished America’s reputation and made broad agreement on commercial matters more difficult. The Bush-Cheney foreign policy stressed oil and gas, reflecting the party’s longtime alliance with the resource extraction industries. This is not to say that the neo-conservatives opposed the interests of the GIC, but they did not prioritize them nearly so passionately as Clinton did.

  • 68 Geron, Tomio. “Paul Graham’s Poll: Silicon Valley Favors Obama Over Romney 2 To 1.” Forbes, October (...)

54The Republican Party’s choice of John McCain, and his choice of Sarah Palin as running mate, was further evidence for the weakened position of liberal conservatives in the Republican party, a situation that does not seem to sit well with the GIC. Analysis of campaign contributions in 2008 by sector shows that Obama was consistently better financed by the sectors associated with the GIC. Through 2012, Obama continued to have strong support among the entrepreneurial class, especially in California.68

Table 1. 2008 Presidential campaign contributions by sector: Obama vs. McCain69
(in millions of dollars)

Obama

McCain

FIRE

$43.7

$31.0

Communications/Electronic

$29.0

$4.9

Health

$22.5

$8.2

Lawyers and lobbyists

$47.7

$11.5

  • 70 Berman, Ari. “Mitt Romney’s Neocon War Cabinet.” The Nation, May 21, 2012.

55The Republican Party’s nomination of Mitt Romney in 2012 suggests that it was finally trying to engage more directly with the GIC. Romney is the former president of Bain Capital, one of the earliest private equity firms to emerge out of business consulting. Romney was the only candidate acceptable to the GIC. Still, the long list of Republican candidates meant that he had to run a substantial primary campaign. But in competing against the other candidates, almost all of whom were social conservatives—the “base” of the party—Romney sacrificed his career of liberal conservatism. Winning the Republican primaries meant taking positions far to the right of the average American voter. In addition, Romney’s foreign policy advisors were more aligned with the neo-conservatives than with the liberal multilateralists.70 Once again, the Republican party’s liberal wing was sacrificed at the alter of social conservatism and anti-internationalism.

6 Conclusion

56At the time, the 1992 presidential election was famously encapsulated by the phrase, "It’s the economy, stupid." With hindsight, one could say that a better description might have been, "It’s the global economy, stupid." The domestic neo-liberal agenda that quietly emerged in the mid-1970s, was loudly extended by Reagan, normalized under Bush, Sr. was, for the most part, a restructuring of the national economy. Clinton’s goal was bigger: he sought to structure a new the global economy. Bush’s world-view, forged in an era of the communist threat, could not bend to meet the demands of the post-Cold War environment. Clinton grew up in the New South, helped to form the New Democrats, and embraced the new economy. It would be wrong to overstate the differences between the two, but it would be inaccurate to say that the new business leaders emerging in the 1990s were indifferent between them. Clinton was ambitious, had no deep-seated foreign policy convictions, and was politically savvy and adaptable. For these reasons and for this election, he was the better candidate for the global investment class.

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Notes

1 Gilens, Martin, and Benjamin I. Page. “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens.” Perspectives on Politics 12, no. 3, 2014, p. 564–81.

2 The concept of a "global investment class" differs from Robinson’s notion of a "transnational capitalist class" Robinson (2004). Robinson overstates the importance of "transnational production" and fails to appreciate important differences within capitalism that make his term "transnational capitalists" vague and too all-encompassing. I agree with his insistence that "...the rise of a transnational state apparatus is an integral dimension of global capitalism," (Robinson 2004:86) but I emphasize the importance of specific elements in the US political power structure. “American capitalism” is not pushing for globalization; indeed, many US capitalist suffer greatly from it. But specific fractions are pushing specific policies. See, Robinson, William I. A Theory of Global Capitalism: Production, Class, and State in a Transnational World. Baltimore, MD, JHU Press, 2004.

3 Philippon, Thomas. “Why Has the U.S. Financial Sector Grown so Much? The Role of Corporate Finance.” Working Paper 13405. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, 2007, p. 1.

4 Krippner, Greta R. “The Financialization of the American Economy.” Socio-Economic Review 3, 2005, p. 173–208.

5 Star Wars numbers are from “Box Office History for Star Wars Movies,” The Numbers: Where Data and the Movies Meet, http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/franchise/Star-Wars (Consulted July 29, 2015). The numbers for Titanic are from “Titanic (1997 Film).” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, July 25, 2015. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanic_(1997_film)#Box_office

6 Hoad, Phil. “Hollywood’s Hold over Global Box Office – 63% and Falling.” The Guardian, April 2, 2013, sec. Film. http://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2013/apr/02/hollywood-hold-global-box-office.

7 Geisst, Charles R. Wall Street : A History. New York, Oxford University Press, 2004. p. 332

8 Arora, Ashish, Andrea Fosfuri, and Alfonso Gambardella. Markets for Technology: The Economics of Innovation and Corporate Strategy. Cambridge, MA, MIT Press, 2004, 339.

9 Ibid. p. 285.

10 Economics and Statistics Administration and United States Patent and Trademark Office. “Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus.” Washington, DC, US Department of Commerce, March 2012, p. vii.

11 Walmart. “Our location” http://corporate.walmart.com/our-story/locations (Total retail units on June 30, 2014.)

12 In 2006, after substantial losses, Walmart pulled out of South Korea and Germany. On South Korea see, Garger, Ilya. “Wal-Mart Exits South Korea with $866M Sale to Shinsegae.” MarketWatch, May 22, 2006. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wal-mart-exits-south-korea-with-866m-sale-to-shinsegae. For Germany see, Hall, Allan. “Wal-Mart Pulls out of Germany at Cost of $1bn.” The Times (UK). 29 July 2006. http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/retailing/article694345.ece.

13 Numbers are from “List of Mergers and Acquisitions by Microsoft.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Microsoft&oldid=508136933. (Consulted 25 August 2012

14 On the connections between US business interests and the US government policies see Galbraith, John Kenneth. American Capitalism: The Concept of Countervailing Power. Boston, MA, Houghton Mifflin, 1956; also, Domhoff, G. William. The Power Elite and the State: How Policy Is Made in America. Hawthorne, NY, Aldine Transaction, 1990; and, Prechel, Harland. Politics and the Corporation. Vol. 14. Amsterdam and Oxford, Elsevier JAI, 2005; and Gilens and Page, op. cit.

15 See, for example, Yankelovich, Daniel, and I. M. Destler. Beyond the Beltway: Engaging the Public in U.S. Foreign Policy. New York, NY, W.W. Norton, 1994; Hoffmann, Stanley. “What Should American Foreign Policy Be?” Dissent, Fall, 1994. p.497-512; and, Brzezinski, Zbigniew. “The Cold War and Its Aftermath.” Foreign Affairs, September 1, 1992.

16 Alterman, Eric. Who Speaks for America?: Why Democracy Matters in Foreign Policy. Ithaca, NY, Cornell University Press, 1998, p. 105.

17 The term “free trade” is itself contestable. Much of what gets included in free trade agreements such as NAFTA is not the free exchange of labor and capital, but rules that restrict labor, loosen capital, and impose intellectual property regimes on national sovereigns. Intellectual property protections (a form of temporary monopoly) are particularly significant. Critics of the term “free trade” can be seen in Chang, Ha-Joon. Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism. London, Bloomsbury Press, 2008; also Baker, Dean. The End of Looser Liberalism. Washington, DC, Center for Economic Policy Research, 2011, especially Ch. 8 Trade in an Overvalued-Dollar World pp. 87-110. For examples of the more mainstream debate on how best to achieve free trade, see: Yankelovich, Daniel. “Foreign Policy After the Election.” Foreign Affairs, September 1, 1992; Schlesinger, James. “Quest for a Post-Cold War Foreign Policy.” Foreign Affairs, January 1, 1992; Garten, Jeffrey. “Clinton’s Emerging Trade Policy: Act One, Scene One.” Foreign Affairs, June 1, 1993, and, Carlisle, Charles R. “Is the World Ready for Free Trade?” Foreign Affairs, November 1, 1996.

18 Orme, Willam A. Understanding Nafta: Mexico, Free Trade, and the New North America. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press, 1996, Ch. 6 North American Investment Agreement.

19 Ibid., p. 130.

20 Cowhey, Peter F., and Jonathan D. Aronson. “A New Trade Order.” Foreign Affairs, January 1, 1992.

21 Op. cit. Alterman, pp. 116-121.

22 Op. cit. Hurstm 1999, pp. 187-188; Op. Cit. Garten, 1993.

23 Faux, Geoffrey. The Global Class War : How America’s Bipartisan Elite Lost Our Future, and What It Will Take to Win It Back. Hoboken, NJ, Wiley, 2006, p. 16-20

24 Yergin, Daniel. The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power. New York, NY, Free Press, 2008.

25 Ruggie, John Gerard. Winning the Peace: America and World Order in the New Era. New York, NY, Columbia University Press, 1998, p. 6.

26 Op. cit. Garten.

27 Op. cit. Cowhey and Aronson.

28 Peter F. Cowhey’s curriculum vitae is available from the University of California San Diego web site, http://gps.ucsd.edu/_files/faculty/cowhey/cowhey_cv.pdf (Consulted 27 July 2015); Jonathan Aronson’s curriculum vitae is available from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism: http://annenberg.usc.edu/Faculty/Communication%20and%20Journalism/AronsonJ.aspx (Consulted 27 July 2015).

29 Hurst, Steven. The Foreign Policy of the Bush Administration : In Search of a New World Order. New York, NY, Pinter, 1999, p. 184.

30 Ibid. p. 185.

31 Dwyer, Amy S. “Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.” In The GATT Uruguay Round: The End Game (part I), edited by Terence P. Stewart. Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands, Kluwer Law International, 1993, p. 512.

32 Op. cit., Orme 1996, p. 100.

33 Ibid. p. 100.

34 Patterson, James. Restless Giant : The United States from Watergate to Bush v. Gore. New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 246.

35 Op cit. Alterman, 1998, p. 110.

36 Alan Murray gives a good example of libertarian opposition to government intervention. Reacting to Bush’s visit to Tokyo in January 1992 with a gaggle of American CEOs, including all three heads of the big three US automobile companies, Murray quotes William Niskanen, a former Reagan economic adviser who would go on to become the chairman of the Cato Institute: "It demeans the presidency for him to act like a car salesman." Murray, Alan. “The Global Economy Bungled.” Foreign Affairs, January 1, 1992.

37 In his lengthy essay in Foreign Affairs on the history of neoconservatism, John Judis mentions trade just two times and does so in the context of trade as a bargaining chip for geo-political concerns. Judis, John B. “Trotskyism to Anachronism: The Neoconservative Revolution.” Foreign Affairs, July 1, 1995. Unilateralists tendencies among the neo-conservatives would only intensify throughout the 1990s. See, Busby, Joshu W., and Jonathan Monten. “Republican Elites and Foreign Policy Attitudes.” Political Science Quarterly 127, No. 1, 2012, p. 109.

38 Op. cit., Busby and Monten, 2012.

39 Deibel, Terry. “Bush’s Foreign Policy: Mastery and Inaction.” Foreign Policy 84, 1991, pp. 3–23.

40 Op. cit.,Orme, 1996, pp. 78-81.

41 Op. cit., Charnovitz 1994, p. 3. Quoting Clinton.

42 Op. cit., Patterson, 2005, p. 319.

43 Mandelbaum, Michael. “The Bush Foreign Policy.” Foreign Affairs, January 1, 1990.

44 Deibel made the same point in Foreign Policy. Op. Cit., Deibel, 1991.

45 Deibel was at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service before becoming Professor of National Strategy at the National War College, Washington, DC. Mandelbaum is Professor of American Foreign Policy at the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University.

46 Luttwak, Edward N. “From Geopolitics to Geo-Economics: Logic of Conflict, Grammar of Commerce.” The National Interest 20, Fall, 1990, p. 20.

47 Hoff, Joan. A Faustian Foreign Policy from Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush : Dreams of Perfectibility. Cambridge, MA, Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 145-46.

48 Op. cit., Alterman, 1998, Ch. 4 The New World Order: Trading Away Democracy, pp. 102-22. See also, MacArthur, John R. The Selling of “Free Trade”: NAFTA, Washington, and the Subversion of American Democracy. Oakland, CA, University of California Press, 2001.

49 Op. cit., Orme, 1996, p. 6.

50 Op. cit., Faux, 2006, p. 23.

51 Op. cit., Faux, 2006, 25 citing MacArthur, 2001, 275.

52 Atlas, John, and Peter Dreier. “The Conservative Origins of the Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis.” The American Prospect, December 18, 2007; and, Sherman, Matthew. “A Short History of Financial Deregulation in the US.” Washington, DC, Center for Economic and Policy Research, July 2009.

53 Wartell, Sarah Rosen. “The White House: National Economic Council.” In Mark Green and Michele Jolin (editors) Change for America: A Progressive Blueprint for the 44th President. Washington, DC, Center for American Progress, 2008, p. 16.

54 Op. cit., Faux, 2006, Ch. 6 Alan, Larry, and Bob Save the Privileged, pp. 108-126

55 Johnson, Simon, and James Kwak. 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown. New York, NY, Pantheon Books, 2010, p.99.

56 Ibid., pp. 99-101.

57 Ibid., p. 133.

58 Ibid., p. 100.

59 Faux (2006), op. cit., makes a similar point. In pushing for NAFTA and a balanced budget Clinton sacrificed national health care reform and aligned himself with financial sector business interests much to the resentment of many of those who had fought to get him elected.

60 Kapstein, Ethan. Hegemony Wired : American Politics and the New Economy. The New American Challenge. Paris, Institut français des relations internationales, 2000, pp. 37-8.

61 Ibid., p. 35.

62 Drake, William J. 2000. “The Rise and Decline of the International Telecommunications Regime.” In Christopher T. Marsden (ed.) Regulating the Global Information Society. London, Routledge, pp. 124-77.

63 Op. cit., Kapstein, 2000, p. 45.

64 Mills, C. Wright. The Power Elite. New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 2000 [1956]. See especially, Ch. 9 The Military Ascendancy, pp. 198-224.

65 Op. cit., Patterson, 2005, p. 122.

66 Roper, Jon. The American Presidents : Heroic Leadership from Kennedy to Clinton. Edinburgh, Scotland, Edinburgh University Press, 2000, p. 194.

67 Domhoff, G. William. Who Rules America? Power, Politics, & Social Change 5th Edition. New York, NY, McGraw-Hill Humanities, 2004, p. 140.

68 Geron, Tomio. “Paul Graham’s Poll: Silicon Valley Favors Obama Over Romney 2 To 1.” Forbes, October 12, 2012.

69 OpenSecrets.org, “Candidate Comparison: Source of Funds 2008 Cycle,” https://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/sourceall.php?cycle=2008 (Consulted August 25th, 2014.)

70 Berman, Ari. “Mitt Romney’s Neocon War Cabinet.” The Nation, May 21, 2012.

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Brian SCHMITT, « Who Governs? », Mémoire(s), identité(s), marginalité(s) dans le monde occidental contemporain [En ligne], 14 | 2015, mis en ligne le 29 août 2015, consulté le 22 juillet 2017. URL : http://mimmoc.revues.org/2301 ; DOI : 10.4000/mimmoc.2301

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Brian SCHMITT

Since 2010, Brian SCHMITT is maître de conférences at the Université de Cergy-Pontoise where he teaches in the School of Modern Languages and International Studies, and is a member of the research group AGORA. Before moving to France in 2005, he worked for ten years as a researcher in the United States specializing in American urban and economic development policy. Between 2000 and 2005, he was Director of Research at the Community Development Venture Capital Alliance, a trade association based in New York City that represents development-oriented venture capital funds. He earned his doctorate in Urban Planning and Public Policy from the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.

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