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|Title:||The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977|
|Author(s):||Sinow, David Martin|
|Department / Program:||Political Science|
|Degree Granting Institution:||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|Subject(s):||Political Science, International Law and Relations|
|Abstract:||In 1977, the 95th Congress of the United States passed and President Jimmy Carter signed into law, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Public Law 95-213. The general purpose of this Act is to make it unlawful for publicly held corporations to make certain payments to foreign officials and other foreign persons with the specific intent to influence the foreign official's behavior.
Far from being a routine or insignificant item of legislation, this law broke new ground by attempting to regulate U.S. corporate behavior outside its borders. The circumstances surrounding the Act's formulation, the political climate which facilitated its passage, and the speed with which the opposition mobilized to hinder its implementation and enforcement, are therefore all worthy of study--not only for what they may tell the reader about the Act itself, but also for insights they provide into four broader theoretical issues: (1) To what extent can a study of the Act aid the reader in examining the nature and structure of the political process by which foreign policy is formulated? (2) To what extent can foreign policy making be viewed primarily as a response to external (foreign) stimuli? (3) What should be the economic relationship between a multinational corporation and its home country? (4) To what extent can the U.S. impose foreign business policy by and through the enactment of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act?
After examining the aforementioned theoretical issues, one can conclude that there are at least three factors which contribute to an effective foreign business policy. First, the policy must be countenanced by the major political actors in the political system. In other words, a true consensus should exist. Second, the policy must be responsive to the interdependent domestic and foreign dimensions which initially gave rise to the policy. And third, the policy must equitably regulate foreign economic opportunities.
It is this author's position that the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 fails all three of the above criteria, and the Act has far more dramatically affected the American political system than any of the political systems where U.S. firms conduct international business.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982.
|Date Available in IDEALS:||2014-12-15|