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Policy Analysis in Canada$
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Laurent Dobuzinskis and Michael Howlett

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447334910

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447334910.001.0001

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Policy analytical capacity and Canadian business associations

Policy analytical capacity and Canadian business associations

(p.297) Fourteen Policy analytical capacity and Canadian business associations
Policy Analysis in Canada

Andrew Stritch

Policy Press

Since the 1980s, policy advisory systems in Canada have become more open and accessible to inputs from civil society groups. However, the capacity to exploit this new openness is not evenly distributed within civil society. Based on survey data from Canadian business associations, this chapter argues that business groups have generally endowed themselves with impressive capacities for policy analysis and advice, and that these capacities have increased over the last decade or so. Business associations have commonly made a significant and sustained commitment to this endeavour, whether using in-house personnel or external resources, and have developed strong analytical means for providing governments with policy advice. To the extent that this capacity is unmatched by other sections of civil society, the greater openness of policy advisory systems may not reflect a new era of genuine pluralism, but reinforce existing biases in civil society.

Keywords:   Canadian business associations, policy analysis, analytical capacity, civil society, pluralism

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