DISC and PERG Lecture Series: "Quiet Politics and Business Power" by Pepper D. Culpepper

May 7, 2012 - 17:30 - 19:00
Nador u. 9, Monument Building
Gellner Room
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DISC and PERG Lecture Series: "Quiet Politics and Business Power" by Pepper D. Culpepper

Pepper Culpepper is Professor of Political Science at the European University Institute. His research focuses on comparative political economy, processes of institutional change in democratic capitalism, and the quality of democracy in the European Union. His most recent book is Quiet Politics and Business Power: Corporate Control in Europe and Japan (Cambridge University Press 2011), which explores the role of political salience in determining the power resources of actors in battles over takeover regulation and executive compensation in Europe, Japan, and the United States since 1990. He is the author of Creating Cooperation (Cornell University Press, 2003) and co-editor of Changing France (with Peter Hall and Bruno Palier, Palgrave 2006) and of The German Skills Machine (with David Finegold, Berghahn Books 1999). His work has appeared in International Organization, World Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Revue Française de Science Politique, Politische Vierteljahresschrift, West European Politics, Journal of European Public Policy, Journal of Public Policy, and the Oxford Review of Economic Policy, among others.


Talk Summary:

Does democracy control business, or does business control democracy? This study of how companies are bought and sold in four countries – France, Germany, Japan and the Netherlands – explores this fundamental question. It does so by examining variation in the rules of corporate control – specifically, whether hostile takeovers are allowed. Takeovers have high political stakes: they result in corporate reorganizations, layoffs and the unraveling of compromises between workers and managers. But the public rarely pays attention to issues of corporate control. As a result, political parties and legislatures are largely absent from this domain. Instead, organized managers get to make the rules, quietly drawing on their superior lobbying capacity and the deference of legislators. These tools, not campaign donations, are the true founts of managerial political influence.