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Firms as Political Entities: Saving Democracy through Economic Bicameralism (Anglais) Relié – 31 octobre 2017

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Revue de presse

Advance praise: 'Isabelle Ferreras presents a forceful case for a very big idea. Firms, she argues, are political entities, and democracy is the right kind of governance for political entities. So firms should be governed democratically - by a bicameral body, representing workers as well as owners of capital. We urgently need creative, ambitious, constructive thinking, and Isabelle Ferreras delivers it: clearly, gracefully, and with great intellectual power.' Joshua Cohen and Joel Rogers, Apple University and University of California, Berkeley, Editor of the Boston Review and University of Wisconsin, Madison, Director, COWS

Advance praise: 'Isabelle Ferreras presents a deeply original and provocative proposal for deepening and extending the ideals of democracy in capitalist economies by democratizing the governance of corporations. She provides a powerful, nuanced critique of the autocratic forms of rule that are taken-for-granted within capitalist firms as they exist, and a compelling model of an emancipatory alternative that could be realized in the future. The book is a brilliant contribution to the kind of progressive thought desperately needed for the twenty-first century.' Erik Olin Wright, Vilas Distinguished Professor, University of Wisconsin, Madison, former President of the American Sociological Association 2011–12 and author of Envisioning Real Utopias (2010)

Advance praise: 'An urgent and exciting contribution to the debate about corporate power and democracy: Ferreras pushes us to reach beyond the existing forms of the corporation to ask what democratic organization might look like in our workplaces.' David Singh Grewal, Yale Law School, Yale University

Advance praise: 'Democracy must not stop at the workplace door. While many have lamented the autocratic rule of corporations, Isabelle Ferreras offers a radical and exciting proposal on how democracy can be inserted into corporate governance. Arguing that workers, not just capital, are investors in enterprises, Ferreras demands that workers be granted the rights of citizenship and a role in the government of firms. With corporate power challenging democracy everywhere, Ferreras challenges workers, unions, and anyone interested in breathing life into democracy to recognize firms as political entities. She shows how to extend democratic structures into these authoritarian entities that play such a commanding role in our lives and economy.' Elaine Barnard, Executive Director, The Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School

Advance praise: 'Economists have long been content to describe corporations as an abstract legal shell, a 'nexus of contracts' governed by narrowly constructed notions of property rights. Political scientist Isabelle Ferreras introduces us to an alternative view of the corporation as a political association comprised of stakeholders who expect to be governed according to democratic rules and norms. In times of skyrocketing inequality, a deeper debate about the 'theory of the firm' is urgent and timely. Ferreras has launched that debate.' Christopher Mackin, Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations and a partner at American Working Capital, LLC

Advance praise: 'A simple and radical proposal - bicameral firms - supported by a powerful analogy with the history of political democracy and by an insightful analysis of the growing tension between corporate despotism and civic equality. This is the sort of smart interdisciplinary thinking that we need to shed light on the present and feed hope for the future.' Philippe Van Parijs, University of Louvain, Hoover Chair of Economic and Social Ethics

Présentation de l'éditeur

When people go to work, they cease to be citizens. At their desks they are transformed into employees, subordinate to the hierarchy of the workplace. The degree of their sense of voicelessness may vary from employer to employer, but it is real and growing, inflamed by populist propaganda that ridicules democracy as weak and ineffective amid global capitalism. At the same time, corporations continue untouched and even unremarked as a major source of the problem. Relying on 'economic bicameralism' to consider firms as political entities, this book sheds new light on the institutions of industrial relations that have marked the twentieth century, and argues that it is time to recognize that firms are a peculiar institution that must be properly organized in order to unshackle workers' motivation and creativity, and begin nurturing democracy again.

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