Forging a New Hegemony? The Role of Transnational Policy Groups in the Network and Discourses of Global Corporate Governance

William K. Carroll, Colin Carson


This study situates ?ve top transnational policy-planning groups within the larger structure of corporate power that is constituted through interlocking directorates among the worlds largest companies. Each group makes a distinct contribution toward transnational capitalist hegemony both by building consensus within the global corporate elite and by educating publics and states on the virtues of one or another variant of the neoliberal paradigm. Analysis of corporate-policy interlocks reveals that a few dozen cosmopolitansprimarily men based in Europe and North America and actively engaged in corporate management knit the network together via participation in transnational interlocking and/or multiple policy groups. As a structure underwriting transnational business activism, the network is highly centralized, yet from its core it extends unevenly to corporations and individuals positioned on its fringes. The policy groups pull the directorates of the worlds major corporations together, and collaterally integrate the lifeworld of the global corporate elite, but they do so selectively, reproducing regional di?erences in participation. These ?ndings support the claim that a well-integrated global corporate elite has formed, and that global policy groups have contributed to its formation. Whether this elite con?rms the arrival of a transnational capitalist class is a matter partly of semantics and partly of substance.

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Copyright (c) 2015 William K. Carroll, Colin Carson

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