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The Political Power of the Business Corporation
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The large business corporation has become a governing institution in national and global politics. This trail-blazing book offers a critical account of its political dominance and lack of democratic legitimacy. Thanks to successful wealth generation and ideological victories the large business corporation has become an effective political actor and has entered into partnership with government in the design of public policy and delivery of public services. Stephen Wilks argues that governmental and corporate elites have transformed British politics to create a `new corporate state' with similar patterns in the USA, in competitor economies - including China - and in global governance. The argument embraces multinational corporations, corporate social responsibility, corporate governance and the inequality generated by corporate dominance. The crucial analysis presented in this ground-breaking book will prove invaluable for academics, researchers and both under- and postgraduate students with an interest in the role of the corporation in politics and society across a wide range of fields including business and management (business ethics), politics, political economy, sociology, corporate governance and strategy.
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Table of Contents

Contents: Preface 1. The Genesis of a Governing Institution 2. The Corporation as a Political Actor 3. Globalisation and the Enhanced Power of Multinational Corporations 4. Corporate Power in the UK: The Rise of the Corporate Elite 5. The Politics of the New Corporate State 6. Partnership and Policy in Britain's New Corporate State 7. Multinational Corporations as Partners in Global Governance 8. Corporations, Culture and Accountability 9. How Persuasive is Corporate Social Responsibility? 10. The Explosion of Interest in Corporate Governance 11. Conclusion: Fairy-tales, Facts, Foci and Futures Bibliography Index

About the Author

Stephen Wilks, Professor of Politics, University of Exeter, UK

Reviews

`I consider this book to be an outstanding contribution to the study of the power of large business corporations; it takes a fresh perspective by making fruitful connections between (1) new institutionalism and political economy, (2) the domestic and transnational levels of corporate power and governance, and (3) different key corporate political agendas like CSR and corporate governance.' -- Martin Fougere, Hanken School of Economics, Finland `In a much-needed and important overview and analysis of the field that should appeal to students of political science and corporate law, Wilks argues the forces that created the corporation have "unleashed new autocrats, immune from effective political control". His argument in The Political Power of the Business Corporation is that it is impossible to understand the "structural dependence" between the state and the corporation without studying the corporation in its mould as a political actor.' -- LSE Review of Books `A comprehensive analysis of how the large corporation has impacted national and global governance. Wilks has made an important contribution to the literature on the changing political and social role of business in contemporary capitalist polities.' -- David Vogel, University of California, US `Observers are increasingly realizing that that the large corporation has become one of the main institutions that govern our lives; the market economy, which in principle prevents corporations from possessing political power, today endows them with that power. Stephen Wilks here traces the extraordinarily important implications of this fact, and makes some sober proposals for tackling the problems it creates for democracy. Others have noted this phenomenon; here at last is a thorough study of it - detailed enough to satisfy the standards of social science; worrying enough to command the concern of policy makers; and written in an approachable style to attract the general reader.' -- Colin Crouch, University of Warwick, UK `This is a book that needed to be written and Stephen Wilks has the academic understanding and breadth of practical experience to accomplish the task with authority and conviction. This is an important book, not only because it helps to fill a gap in a still under developed literature on the political role of the modern corporation, but because it raises important and disturbing questions about contemporary democracy.' -- Wyn Grant, University of Warwick, UK

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