The Political Power of the Business Corporation
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The Political Power of the Business Corporation

Stephen Wilks

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.
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Chapter 5: The politics of the New Corporate State

Stephen Wilks


This chapter extends the discussion initiated in Chapter 4 about the integration of the corporate elite into the New Corporate State. It follows up the three questions posed there first by analysing the relationship between the corporate elite and political elites in the parties and the civil service. It goes on to examine how business corporations organise themselves individually and collectively to pursue elite interests. As part of this review it assesses the stability of the New Corporate State by dissecting the influence of competitor elites. The conclusion comes back to one of the dominant themes of this book, the privileging of corporate interests and the shrinking of democratic choice in the UK’s New Corporate State.

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