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PPR.343  Corporations, Global Political Economy and the Law

Tutor:Chris May
Term: Lent

Course Description

This module explores the analysis of the corporation in the (global) political economy.  It will help students develop their knowledge of the character and practices of corporations and place that analysis within the wider context of analyses of International Political Economy.  At the end of the module students will better understand the variance and multi-faceted character of the corporate (global) sector, be able to account for a range of (political) positions about corporations and have some experience of the interaction between political economic and legal analyses.  The module overall is intended to demystify the corporation as a political economic actor and support students in developing a nuanced appreciation of their own analyses of the role and practices of (global) corporations.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast the major approaches of International (or Global) Political Economy to the analysis of the (global) corporation.
  • Understand the extent of different forms and practices of corporations in the global system.
  • Account for the range of political positions on the role and practices of corporations.
  • Appreciate the manner in which IPE and legal studies can be engaged around a specific analytical issue (that of the corporate form and its governance).


40% coursework and 60% exam.

Teaching Method

Lecture (1.5 hours) and seminar (1 hour) weekly.

Introductory Reading

Bakan, J.                             The Corporation, 2004
Carroll, W.                          The Making of a Transnational Capitalist Class, 2010
Culpepper, P.                    Quiet Politics and Business Power, 2011
Fuchs, D.                            Business Power in Global Governance, 2007
Micklethwaite, J. &
  Wooldridge, A.                The Company – A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea, 2003
Picciotto, S.                       Regulating Global Corporate Capitalism, 2011
Soederberg, S.                  Corporate Power and Ownership in Contemporary Capitalism, 2010.

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