Corporations and Citizenship

Corporations and Citizenship

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President Theodore Roosevelt once proclaimed, "Great corporations exist only because they are created and safeguarded by our institutions, and it is therefore our right and duty to see that they work in harmony with those institutions." But while corporations are ostensibly regulated by citizens through their governments, the firms in turn regulate many aspects of social and political life for individuals beyond their own employees and the communities that support them. Corporations are endowed with many of the same rights as citizens, such as freedom of speech, but are not themselves typically constituted around ideals of national belonging and democracy. In the wake of the global financial collapse of 2008, the question of what relationship corporations should have to governing institutions has only increased in urgency. As a democratically sanctioned social institution, should a corporation operate primarily toward profit accumulation or should its proper goal be to provision society with needed goods and services?

Corporations and Citizenship addresses the role of modern for-profit corporations as a distinctive kind of social formation within democratic national states. Scholars of legal studies, business ethics, politics, history, and anthropology bring their perspectives to bear on particular case studies, such as Enron and Wall Street, as well as broader issues of belonging, social responsibility, for-profit higher education, and regulation. Together, these essays establish a complex and detailed understanding of the ways corporations contribute positively to human well-being as well as the dangers that they pose.

Contributors: Joel Bakan, Jean Comaroff, John Comaroff, Cynthia Estlund, Louis Galambos, Rosalie Genova, Peter Gourevitch, Karen Ho, Nien-he Hsieh, Walter Licht, Jonathan R. Macey, Hirokazu Miyazaki, Lynn Sharp Paine, Katharina Pistor, Amy J. Sepinwall, Jeffery Smith, Jeffrey L. Sturchio, Greg Urban.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 392 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 30.48mm | 680.39g
  • Pennsylvania, United States
  • English
  • 1 illus.
  • 0812246020
  • 9780812246025
  • 1,803,139

Table of contents

Introduction. Why For-Profit Corporations and Citizenship?

-Greg Urban


Chapter 2. Corporate Power and the Public Good

-Lynn Sharp Paine

Chapter 3. How Big Business Targets Children

-Joel Bakan

Chapter 4. Corporate Social Purpose and the Task of Management

-Jeffery Smith

Chapter 5. Corporate Purpose and Social Responsibility

-Jeffrey L. Sturchio and Louis Galambos

Chapter 6. Education by Corporation: The Merits and Perils of For-Profit Higher Education for a Democratic Citizenry

-Amy J. Sepinwall

Chapter 7. Enron and the Legacy of Corporate Discourse

-Rosalie Genova

Chapter 8. Saving TEPCO: Debt, Credit, and the "End" of Finance in Post-Fukushima Japan

-Hirokazu Miyazaki


Chapter 9. The Rise and Embedding of the Corporation: Considerations for American Democracy and Citizenship

-Walter Licht

Chapter 10. Citizens of the Corporation? Workplace Democracy in a Post-Union Era

-Cynthia Estlund

Chapter 11. Politics and Corporate Governance: What Explains Policy Outcomes?

-Peter Gourevitch

Chapter 12. The Nature and Futility of "Regulation by Assimilation"

-Jonathan R. Macey

Chapter 13. Multinational Corporations as Regulators and Central Planners: Implications for Citizens' Voice

-Katharina Pistor

Chapter 14. Ethnicity, Inc.: On the Affective Economy of Belonging

-Jean Comaroff and John Comaroff

Chapter 15. Corporate Nostalgia? Managerial Capitalism from a Contemporary Perspective

Karen Ho

Chapter 16. Can For-Profit Corporations Be Good Citizens? Perspectives from Four Business Leaders

-Nien-he Hsieh


List of Contributors


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Review quote

"A serious engagement with the mutual implications of citizenship and corporations is overdue. This book's main gambit is theoretically and critically suggestive in ways that reach across the human sciences."-Carol Greenhouse, Princeton University
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About Greg Urban

Greg Urban is Arthur Hobson Quinn Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and author of several books, including Metaculture: How Culture Moves Through the World.
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