According to Palazzo and Scherer, the changing role of business corporations in society requires that we take new measures to integrate these organizations into society-wide processes of democratic governance. We argue that their model of integration has a fundamental problem. Instead of treating business corporations as agents that must be held accountable to the democratic reasoning of affected parties, it treats corporations as agents who can hold others accountable. In our terminology, it treats business corporations as “supervising authorities” rather than (...) “functionaries.” The result is that Palazzo and Scherer’s model does not actually address the democratic deficit that it is meant to solve. In order to fix the problem, we advocate removing business corporations from any policymaking role in political CSR and limiting participation to political NGOs and other groups that meet the standards we set out for a politically representative organization (PRO). (shrink)
The efficiency argument for profit maximization says that corporations and their managers should maximize profits because this is the course of action that will lead to an ‘economically efficient’ or ‘welfare maximizing’ outcome. In this paper, I argue that the fundamental problem with this argument is not that markets in the real world are less than perfect, but rather that the argument does not properly acknowledge the personal sphere. Morality allows each of us a sphere in which we are free (...) to pursue our personal interests, even if these are not optimal from the social point of view. But the efficiency argument does not come to terms with this feature of social life. (shrink)
This chapter contains sections titled: Two Forms of Property‐Owning Democracy What Is Stability? Why Does It Matter? The Sense of Justice Participation in Public Life Three Distinctive Features of Rawls's View Democratic Corporatism and Participation Objections Conclusion References.
Markets, just like states, are systems of governance. Their justification must therefore meet similar standards of moral scrutiny, despite the fact that their authority structure is impersonal. In order to argue for the role of markets as systems of governance that raise similar justificatory burdens, this book provides a philosophical account of market institutions. According to this view, shared social institutions define a framework for how members of a political community think and act toward one another, consistent with citizens respecting (...) themselves and one another as free persons, each entitled to guide their activities in light of their own judgments. The market is one of these shared institutions, so its rules must also be consistent with mutual respect as free persons. This perspective represents a fundamentally different way of thinking about economic life, which rejects both the view of economic actors as disconnected individuals in a state of nature and the view of economic actors as mere preference orderings that are inputs to a giant social welfare function. The book formulates a deeper framework for thinking about economic life, which can displace the familiar ideas that underpin contemporary neoliberalism and finance capitalism. In so doing, the book works out the implications of the idea that the burdens of equal citizenship extend to economic life, such that appropriately regulated markets and workplaces elicit and realize a system in which people respect one another as free. The book concludes with a defense of economic democracy, elements of which can be found under German codetermination. (shrink)
A key feature of ISCT is the claim that individuals are required to comply with the norms that are "accepted by a clear majority of the community as standing for an ethical principle" [Donaldson and Dunfee, 1999, "The Ties that Bind", p. 39], so long as these norms are consistent with hypernorms. I refer to this as the communal authority thesis. Many people see the communal authority thesis as an attractive feature of ISCT, a welcome move away from the abstraction (...) of principle-based ethical theories. I argue in this article, however, that the communal authority thesis is false: we do not have a general moral obligation to comply with the accepted norms in our community. I consider and reject several defenses of the communal authority thesis, including the central arguments put forward by Donaldson and Dunfee. I go on to develop my own position, which accepts that social norms can be important from the moral point of view. However, I argue that social norms are important because they can shape the morally important features of our situation, not because we have a general obligation to comply with these norms as such. I use examples such as gift giving in Japan and the housing crisis to illustrate my position. (shrink)
Most theorists believe that when it comes to freedom, no economic system does better than laissez-faire capitalism the system may have other problems, but as far as freedom is concerned, laissez-faire is as good as it gets. The goal of this paper is to show that this view is mistaken. I begin by criticising two important contemporary conceptions of freedom, the libertarian and the liberal egalitarian conceptions, both of which support the dominant view. I then develop a better alternative, one (...) that I call the social democratic conception of freedom. Using this conception, I go on to show that an economic system that requires firms to have an internal structure that makes decision-making more transparent and responsive to the concerns of workers actually shows greater respect for freedom than laissez-faire capitalism does. (shrink)