Nixon and Business: Examining the Politics of Regulation, 1968-1974

Posted: 15 Jul 2012 Last revised: 16 Jan 2013

See all articles by Gregory Elinson

Gregory Elinson

Harvard University - Harvard Law School

Date Written: 2012


This paper examines the regulatory politics of the Nixon White House by exploring the Administration’s relationship with organized business interests, including the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the nascent Business Roundtable. Specifically, I examine the relative capacity of organized business interests to constrain the President’s political agenda — in particular, Nixon’s expansion of the regulatory state and his encouragement of regulatory enforcement by private litigation. Exploiting a diverse set of archival records, I argue that business’s capacity to limit the Nixon Administration depended both on the degree of internal unity within the White House, and on the relative place of business interests within the political coalition that the President and his aides were attempting to construct.

Keywords: organized business, regulation, Nixon, private enforcement litigation, party coalitions

Suggested Citation

Elinson, Gregory, Nixon and Business: Examining the Politics of Regulation, 1968-1974 (2012). APSA 2012 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN:

Gregory Elinson (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Law School ( email )

1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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