Financial Elites and Transnational Business
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Financial Elites and Transnational Business

Who Rules the World?

Edited by Georgina Murray and John Scott

Several expert contributors focus on global issues, including the role of transnational finance, interlocking directorates, ownership and tax havens. Others examine how these issues at the global level interact with the regional or nation state level in the US, the UK, China, Australia and Mexico. The books scrutinizes globalization from a fresh, holistic perspective, examining the relationship between the national and transnational to uncover the most significant structures and agents of power. Possible policy futures are also considered.
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Chapter 1: Capital Mobilization, Transnational Structures, and Capitalist Classes

John Scott


John Scott Questions of corporate control have long been an important feature of the research agenda of the social sciences. In many traditions of research these questions have been allied with attempts to explore wider issues of power and to raise the question: ‘Who rules?’ (see, for example, Domhoff 1967, 1983, 1998). Drawing on the influential investigations of C. Wright Mills (1956), this research has often employed Marxian concepts to explore the relations between corporate power and the capitalist class (Miliband 1969; Bottomore and Brym 1989). The central concept in this research has been that of the ‘elite’ (Scott 2008), understood as the system of top positions in salient institutional power structures. Researchers have been concerned with the integration and recruitment of elites and their connections with structures of property ownership and capital mobilization. These investigations have been transformed by the growing globalization of economic relations, and the contributors to this book are among the leading figures currently investigating questions of corporate control and rule in a globalized world. Research into corporate power has sometimes been pursued on a wide comparative basis (for example, Stokman et al. 1985), or more rarely it has focused on transnational relations (Fennema 1982), but this has mainly been at a descriptive level and has not sought to make connections with the growing body of research on comparative patterns of capitalist development (Hall and Soskice 2001). The research discussed in this book attempts to integrate these research traditions into a more powerful account of...

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