£24.99 | $44.95
9 September 2010
234mm x 156mm
Economics, International Relations, Sociology
The Making of a Transnational Capitalist Class
Corporate Power in the 21st Century
William K. Carroll
Throughout the world, there has been a growing wave of interest in global corporate power and the rise of a transnational capitalist class, triggered by economic and political transformations that have blurred national borders and disembedded corporate business from national domiciles. Using social network analysis, William Carroll maps the changing field of power generated by elite relations among the world's largest corporations and related political organizations.
Carroll provides an in-depth analysis that spans the three decades of the late 20th and early 21st century, when capitalist globalization attained unprecedented momentum, propelled both by the transnationalization of accumulation and by the political paradigm of transnational neoliberalism. This has been an era in which national governments have deregulated capital, international institutions such as the World Trade Organization and the World Economic Forum have gained prominence, and production and finance have become more fully transnational, increasing the structural power of capital over communities and workers.
Within this context of transformation, the book charts the making of a transnational capitalist class, reaching beyond national forms of capitalist class organization into a global field, but facing spirited opposition from below in an ongoing struggle that is also a struggle over alternative global futures.
'Building on Fennema's pathbreaking research on corporate networks in the 1980s, Carroll and his colleagues have produced an impressive array of evidence to suggest that a transnational capitalist class is in the making. Mapping the social organization of this class through the network-analytic approach, the book reveals a multitude of corporate interlocks over space and time showing that transnational corporate and political linkages have been growing, particularly in the case of Fortune Global 500 corporations from 1996 to 2006. All this is accomplished with the help of dozens of tables and figures, making this very complex subject much clearer to understand than would be the case with text alone. This book is the most significant recent contribution on the transnational capitalist class.' - Leslie Sklair, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics'
'Bill Carroll's The Making of a Transnational Capitalist Class is a state-of-the art analysis of the global political-economic power structure as it has developed into the current century. I know of no author in the field who has been able to combine a mastery of empirical method in analysing corporate and planning-group interlocks on a world scale, with an incisive political analysis of the forces occupying the most central locations in the networks that emerge from this analysis. Combining theoretical acumen with an unfailing commitment to social justice and fairness, Carroll brings to this enterprise decades of research experience, which has only gained in sophistication over the years.Not only do his findings represent the most up-to-date and detailed information on the global structures of power. The work equally includes, in a brilliant concluding chapter, an analysis of the social forces ranged against the intricate structures of corporate power and a realistic assessment of the balance of strength in each case. At a time when the capitalist world economy is in the throes of one of the deepest crises in its existence, a fine-grained mapping of the personalities, corporations, and private consultative bodies that actually were running the show to right before it came crashing down, this book is a bombshell that will help clear the way for a renovated global political economy.' - Kees van der Pijl, University of Sussex
'William Carroll provides a superb analysis of global corporate power and the complexities surrounding the issue of transnational capitalist class formation. Sensitive to the relations between the global, regional and national, the challenges posed by state capitalism, and the early impact of the global financial crisis, this will remain the definitive work on the subject for years to come.' - Stephen McBride is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
'With this exciting book Bill Carroll has written a landmark study on transnational class formation setting a new standard for years to come. The longitudinal approach, rigorous empirical research, and great theoretical sensitivity and nuance give the book a unique and exemplary quality. It raises numerous questions for further research and debate and makes a major contribution to critical social research.' - Henk Overbeek, Professor of International Relations, VU University
'This is a truly excellent book. Carroll and his co-workers take the debates on global capitalism and the network society to a new level. Identifying the emergence of a transnational capitalist class, they document its changing contours over the last two decades and its position in the global distribution of wealth and advantage. Powerful research using techniques of social network analysis shows that corporate power holders have become increasingly cosmopolitan and are the key agents of regional and global financial hegemony within the world economic system. All those interested in this topic will find the book a fascinating and enjoyable read. ' - John Scott, Professor of Sociology, University of Plymouth
'This lucid, illuminating, and much needed analysis reveals the underlying structure of the global community of big business at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It provides valuable answers to important questions, including a measured analysis of the degree of unity and division among the most powerful corporations in the world and a vivid portrait of the role transnational policy groups in linking together the world’s largest firms. 'The Making of the Transnational Capitalist Class' provides the essential empirical base for the emerging field of global power structure research.' - Michael Schwartz, Professor of Sociology, Stony Brook University
Table of Contents
PART 1: The Formation of a Transnational Corporate Community
1. Is there a transnational corporate community?
2. Forging a new hegemony: the transnational corporate-policy network, 1996
3. Global cities in the global corporate network
PART 2: Into the 21st Century: The Changing Organization of Corporate Power
4. Transnational accumulation and global networking
5. Transnationalists and national networkers
6. Billionaires and networkers: wealth, position, and corporate power
PART 3: A Transnational Historic Bloc?
7. Constituting corporate Europe
8. Consolidating the transnational corporate-policy network, 1996-2006
9. Hegemony and counter-hegemony in a global field
About the Author:
Bill Carroll is a professor of Sociology at the University of Victoria, where he directs the Social Justice Studies Program. His research interests are in the areas of the political economy of corporate capitalism, social movements and social justice, and critical social theory and method. Among his recent books are Remaking Media: The Struggle to Democratize Public Communication (co-authored with Bob Hackett), Challenges and Perils: Social Democracy in Neo-Liberal Times and Critical Strategies for Social Research. He has won the Canadian Sociological Association's John Porter Prize twice, for his books on the structure of corporate power in Canada. He has held visiting fellowships and appointments at the University of Amsterdam, Griffith University, Kanazawa State University, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Institute of Political Economy at Carleton University. He is a Research Associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, an associate editor of the journal Socialist Studies, and a member of Sociologists Without Borders.
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