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Corporate strategy, corporate capture : Food and alcohol industry lobbying and public health

Miller, David and Harkins, Claire (2010) Corporate strategy, corporate capture : Food and alcohol industry lobbying and public health. Critical Social Policy, 30 (4). pp. 564-589. ISSN 0261-0183

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Abstract

This article examines two industry sectors - those making and selling fast food and alcoholic beverages or associated products. We examine their role in influencing policy and decision making on the regulation of their products for health reasons. We argue that the food and alcohol industries engage in a very wide range of tactics and strategies to defend and indeed to promote their 'licence to operate'. We focus in on a specific component of these by examining public relations and lobbying strategies and their impacts on elite decision makers. We suggest that lobbying influence is a matter of both communication and action. We go on to outline the vertical and horizontal differentiation of lobbying strategies arguing that policy capture is the ultimate goal of lobbying, though influence is pursued by wide-ranging strategies to capture various arenas of decision making. We examine four key arenas; science, civil society, the media and policy, closing with an examination of two cases of the so-called 'partnership' model of governance.