Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details

Business and Politics

Editor-in-Chief: Aggarwal, Vinod K.

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.384
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.352
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.459

See all formats and pricing

Select Volume and Issue


Not by structure alone: power, prominence, and agency in American finance

Kevin Young
  • Department of Political Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003, USA
  • :
Published Online: 2015-09-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bap-2015-0004


I examine the challenges of conceptualization and measurement of structural power when the differential power of industries or individual firms are in question. While ascertaining structural power’s operation at this level can be very challenging, I point to some issues of conceptualization and measurement that can enhance our analytic leverage at the initial stages of the research process. Specifically I propose a more refined language of “structural prominence” to differentiate between the expected causes of structural power from its hypothesized effects. Using a variety of data I show that researchers have some simple tools at their disposal but must pay careful attention to basic logical inferential limitations when examining structural power arguments. Through an examination of firms’ reactions to policy proposals in US securities regulation I find positive evidence for structural power operating in initial policy proposals. When I examine levels of preference attainment in the policymaking process itself, structural power appears to be playing a weaker and more conditional role. I also find that the preference attainment of firms is greatest when structural and instrumental forces operate in conjunction, a finding supportive of recent research in this area.

Corresponding author: Kevin Young, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003, USA, e-mail:

Published Online: 2015-09-11

Published in Print: 2015-10-01

Citation Information: Business and Politics. Volume 17, Issue 3, Pages 443–472, ISSN (Online) 1469-3569, ISSN (Print) 1369-5258, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bap-2015-0004, September 2015

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

William Kindred Winecoff
Business and Politics, 2015, Volume 17, Number 3
Pepper D. Culpepper
Business and Politics, 2015, Volume 17, Number 3

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.