Author: Naomi R. Lamoreaux
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2017-05-08
Recent Supreme Court decisions in Citizens United and other high-profile cases have sparked disagreement about the role of corporations in American democracy. Bringing together scholars of history, law, and political science, Corporations and American Democracy provides essential grounding for today’s policy debates.
Author: Sheldon Whitehouse
Publisher: New Press, The
Release Date: 2017-02-21
Genre: Political Science
In Captured, U.S. Senator and former federal prosecutor Sheldon Whitehouse offers an eye-opening take on what corporate influence looks like today from the Senate Floor, adding a first-hand perspective to Jane Mayer’s Dark Money. Americans know something is wrong in their government. Senator Whitehouse combines history, legal scholarship, and personal experiences to provide the first hands-on, comprehensive explanation of what's gone wrong, exposing multiple avenues through which our government has been infiltrated and disabled by corporate powers. Captured reveals an original oversight by the Founders, and shows how and why corporate power has exploited that vulnerability: to strike fear in elected representatives who don’t “get right” by threatening million-dollar "dark money" election attacks (a threat more effective and less expensive than the actual attack); to stack the judiciary—even the Supreme Court—in "business-friendly" ways; to "capture” the administrative agencies meant to regulate corporate behavior; to undermine the civil jury, the Constitution's last bastion for ordinary citizens; and to create a corporate "alternate reality" on public health and safety issues like climate change. Captured shows that in this centuries-long struggle between corporate power and individual liberty, we can and must take our American government back into our own hands.
Author: James Hoopes
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Release Date: 2011-09-30
Genre: Business & Economics
Public trust in corporations plummeted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, when “Lehman Brothers” and “General Motors” became dirty words for many Americans. In Corporate Dreams, James Hoopes argues that Americans still place too much faith in corporations and, especially, in the idea of “values-based leadership” favored by most CEOs. The danger of corporations, he suggests, lies not just in their economic power, but also in how their confused and undemocratic values are infecting Americans’ visions of good governance. Corporate Dreams proposes that Americans need to radically rethink their relationships with big business and the government. Rather than buying into the corporate notion of “values-based leadership,” we should view corporate leaders with the same healthy suspicion that our democratic political tradition teaches us to view our political leaders. Unfortunately, the trend is moving the other way. Corporate notions of leadership are invading our democratic political culture when it should be the reverse. To diagnose the cause and find a cure for our toxic attachment to corporate models of leadership, Hoopes goes back to the root of the problem, offering a comprehensive history of corporate culture in America, from the Great Depression to today’s Great Recession. Combining a historian’s careful eye with an insider’s perspective on the business world, this provocative volume tracks changes in government economic policy, changes in public attitudes toward big business, and changes in how corporate executives view themselves. Whether examining the rise of Leadership Development programs or recounting JFK’s Pyrrhic victory over U.S. Steel, Hoopes tells a compelling story of how America lost its way, ceding authority to the policies and values of corporate culture. But he also shows us how it’s not too late to return to our democratic ideals—and that it’s not too late to restore the American dream.
The activist and founder of Peachpit Press reveals how the corporation has become the dominant institution in modern life, pointing to the dangers this situation holds for the planet and presenting a blueprint for restoring democracy. Reprint.
Author: Adam Winkler
Publisher: Liveright Publishing
Release Date: 2018-02-27
We the Corporations chronicles the revelatory story of one of the most successful, yet least known, “civil rights movements” in American history. We the Corporations chronicles the astonishing story of one of the most successful yet least well-known “civil rights movements” in American history. Hardly oppressed like women and minorities, business corporations, too, have fought since the nation’s earliest days to gain equal rights under the Constitution—and today have nearly all the same rights as ordinary people. Exposing the historical origins of Citizens United and Hobby Lobby, Adam Winkler explains how those controversial Supreme Court decisions extending free speech and religious liberty to corporations were the capstone of a centuries-long struggle over corporate personhood and constitutional protections for business. Beginning his account in the colonial era, Winkler reveals the profound influence corporations had on the birth of democracy and on the shape of the Constitution itself. Once the Constitution was ratified, corporations quickly sought to gain the rights it guaranteed. The first Supreme Court case on the rights of corporations was decided in 1809, a half-century before the first comparable cases on the rights of African Americans or women. Ever since, corporations have waged a persistent and remarkably fruitful campaign to win an ever-greater share of individual rights. Although corporations never marched on Washington, they employed many of the same strategies of more familiar civil rights struggles: civil disobedience, test cases, and novel legal claims made in a purposeful effort to reshape the law. Indeed, corporations have often been unheralded innovators in constitutional law, and several of the individual rights Americans hold most dear were first secured in lawsuits brought by businesses. Winkler enlivens his narrative with a flair for storytelling and a colorful cast of characters: among others, Daniel Webster, America’s greatest advocate, who argued some of the earliest corporate rights cases on behalf of his business clients; Roger Taney, the reviled Chief Justice, who surprisingly fought to limit protections for corporations—in part to protect slavery; and Roscoe Conkling, a renowned politician who deceived the Supreme Court in a brazen effort to win for corporations the rights added to the Constitution for the freed slaves. Alexander Hamilton, Teddy Roosevelt, Huey Long, Ralph Nader, Louis Brandeis, and even Thurgood Marshall all played starring roles in the story of the corporate rights movement. In this heated political age, nothing can be timelier than Winkler’s tour de force, which shows how America’s most powerful corporations won our most fundamental rights and turned the Constitution into a weapon to impede the regulation of big business.
Author: Jeffrey D. Clements
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Political Science
Encourages the nullification of the Citizens United decision that makes corporations people and provides a guideline to forming a grassroots effort to obtain a constitutional amendment to reverse the decision.
Author: Victor Pickard
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2014-10-27
Drawing from extensive archival research, the book uncovers the American media system's historical roots and normative foundations. It charts the rise and fall of a forgotten media-reform movement to recover alternatives and paths not taken.
Author: Gordon Lafer
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Release Date: 2017-04-01
Genre: Political Science
In the aftermath of the 2010 Citizens United decision, it's become commonplace to note the growing political dominance of a small segment of the economic elite. But what exactly are those members of the elite doing with their newfound influence? The One Percent Solution provides an answer to this question for the first time. Gordon Lafer's book is a comprehensive account of legislation promoted by the nation's biggest corporate lobbies across all fifty state legislatures and encompassing a wide range of labor and economic policies. In an era of growing economic insecurity, it turns out that one of the main reasons life is becoming harder for American workers is a relentless—and concerted—offensive by the country’s best-funded and most powerful political forces: corporate lobbies empowered by the Supreme Court to influence legislative outcomes with an endless supply of cash. These actors have successfully championed hundreds of new laws that lower wages, eliminate paid sick leave, undo the right to sue over job discrimination, and cut essential public services. Lafer shows how corporate strategies have been shaped by twenty-first-century conditions—including globalization, economic decline, and the populism reflected in both the Trump and Sanders campaigns of 2016. Perhaps most important, Lafer shows that the corporate legislative agenda has come to endanger the scope of democracy itself. For anyone who wants to know what to expect from corporate-backed Republican leadership in Washington, D.C., there is no better guide than this record of what the same set of actors has been doing in the state legislatures under its control.
Author: Guy-Uriel E. Charles
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2011-01-17
This book offers a critical re-evaluation of three fundamental and interlocking themes in American democracy: the relationship between race and politics, the performance and reform of election systems and the role of courts in regulating the political process. This edited volume features contributions from some of the leading voices in election law and social science. The authors address the recurring questions for American democracy and identify new challenges for the twenty-first century. They not only consider where current policy and scholarship are headed, but also suggest where they ought to go over the next two decades. The book thus provides intellectual guideposts for future scholarship and policy making in American democracy.
In Democracy in Chains, award-winning historian Nancy MacLean reveals a troubling prospect. Since its inception, the Radical Right has worked to change not simply who rules, but to fundamentally alter the rules of democratic governance themselves. She names the Right's true founder - the Nobel Prize-winning political economist James McGill Buchanan - and dissects the operation he and his colleagues designed to alter government at both the federal and state levels, the judiciary, and the law.
Author: Mark S. Mizruchi
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2013-05-07
Genre: Social Science
Critics warn that corporate leaders have too much influence over American politics. Mark Mizruchi worries they exert too little. American CEOs have abdicated their civic responsibilities in helping the government address national challenges, with grave consequences for society. A sobering assessment of the dissolution of America’s business class.
A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice Shortlisted for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize In the wake of Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 presidential election, a deeply reported look inside the conservative movement working to undermine American democracy Donald Trump is the second Republican this century to triumph in the Electoral College without winning the popular vote. As Zachary Roth reveals in The Great Suppression, this is no coincidence. Over the last decade, Republicans have been rigging the game in their favor. Twenty-two states have passed restrictions on voting. Ruthless gerrymandering has given the GOP a long-term grip on Congress. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has eviscerated campaign finance laws, boosting candidates backed by big money. It would be worrying enough if these were just schemes for partisan advantage. But the reality is even more disturbing: a growing number of Republicans distrust the very idea of democracy—and they’re doing everything they can to limit it. In The Great Suppression, Roth unearths the deep historical roots of this anti-egalitarian worldview, and introduces us to its modern-day proponents: The GOP officials pushing to make it harder to cast a ballot; the lawyers looking to scrap all limits on money in politics; the libertarian scholars reclaiming judicial activism to roll back the New Deal; and the corporate lobbyists working to ban local action on everything from the minimum wage to the environment. And he travels from Rust Belt cities to southern towns to show us how these efforts are hurting the most vulnerable Americans and preventing progress on pressing issues. A sharp, searing polemic in the tradition of Rachel Maddow and Matt Taibbi, The Great Suppression is an urgent wake-up call about a threat to our most cherished values, and a rousing argument for why we need democracy now more than ever.
Author: Lee Drutman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2015-03-19
Genre: Political Science
Corporate lobbyists are everywhere in Washington. Of the 100 organizations that spend the most on lobbying, 95 represent business. The largest companies now have upwards of 100 lobbyists representing them. How did American businesses become so invested in politics? And what does all their money buy? Drawing on extensive data and original interviews with corporate lobbyists, The Business of America is Lobbying provides a fascinating and detailed picture of what corporations do in Washington, why they do it, and why it matters. Prior to the 1970s, very few corporations had Washington offices. But a wave of new government regulations and declining economic conditions mobilized business leaders. Companies developed new political capacities, and managers soon began to see public policy as an opportunity, not just a threat. Ever since, corporate lobbying has become increasingly more pervasive, more proactive, and more particularistic. Lee Drutman argues that lobbyists drove this development, helping managers to see why politics mattered, and how proactive and aggressive engagement could help companies' bottom lines. All this lobbying doesn't guarantee influence. Politics is a messy and unpredictable bazaar, and it is more competitive than ever. But the growth of lobbying has driven several important changes that make business more powerful. The status quo is harder to dislodge; policy is more complex; and, as Congress increasingly becomes a farm league for K Street, more and more of Washington's policy expertise now resides in the private sector. These and other changes increasingly raise the costs of effective lobbying to a level only businesses can typically afford. Lively and engaging, rigorous and nuanced, The Business of America is Lobbying will change how we think about lobbying-and how we might reform it.
"The United States now has three political parties, though only two of them are elected.The newest was founded a century ago, but just came to power in the last decade: It's the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the political party of the new American oligarchy. In this groundbreaking investigation of the big business takeover of the American political process, Alyssa Katz draws upon years of research to chronicle the rise to power of the organization and the oversized, combative personalities who lead it. The Chamber -- through its secret corporate sponsors, from Philip Morris to Exxon to Wal-Mart -- can take credit for some of the most disturbing trends in American life: the reversal of environmental protections, the buying of judgeships, the destruction of unions and worker protections, the rise of virulent anti-government ideology, the toxic role of campaign cash, and the creation of "astroturf" groups, culminating in the Tea Party, as cover for advancing a corporate agenda. Through its propaganda, lobbying, and campaign cash, the Chamber has created a right-wing monster that even it struggles to control, a conservative movement that is destabilizing American politics as never before. The Chamber tells this history as a series of gripping narratives that take us into the backrooms of Washington where the battles over how our country is run and regulated are fought, and then out into the real world where we see how the Chamber's campaigns play out in real lives. But in the end, Katz also points to the possibility of reversing the influence of the Chamber and its affiliated groups, and fixing our democracy"--