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 Research Projects at the MPIfG

Business Power in Digital Capitalism: (How) Does Digitalization Change the Power Resources and Lobbying Strategies of Business?

Michael Kemmerling


 
Digitalization transforms capitalism by introducing a new raw material and a novel means of production. Business models built around the extraction of data and their processing by digital technologies do not only create opportunities for value creation, they also change companies’ resources and strategies for influencing policies. While existing studies mainly focus on an alignment of preferences between dependent users and platforms that creates a permissive consensus against regulation, this project goes beyond that literature. By investigating digital and increasingly digitalized industrial corporations alike, it studies how digitalization affects the material power resources of businesses in all sectors of the economy. In order to influence political outcomes, however, firms must mobilize and apply these resources through strategic actions. Thus, a second focus is to evaluate how digital intermediaries activate the latent platform-user coalition by framing policy debates and adopting outside lobbying tactics. This question is studied comparatively in the context of two copyright reforms in the US and EU using a combination of process tracing and quantitative text analysis. Project duration: October 2019 to March 2023.
 

 
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