Political Power and Corporate Control: The New Global Politics of Corporate Governance

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Political Power and Corporate Control: The New Global Politics of Corporate Governance

By Peter A. Gourevitch and James Shinn
Princeton University Press, 2005
384 pp. $35.00
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The limited liability corporation, invented 400 years ago, has proved to be remarkably successful at organizing resources for production and distribution and for making investments that take years to mature. Around the world, the corporation takes a bewildering variety of forms in terms of its ownership and governance, and this book attempts to explain and interpret this variety -- in regard to the preferences of owners, managers, and employees; the political systems that translate those preferences into laws and regulations; the weight that different stakeholders carry in different political systems; and the coalitions that form among stakeholders. Gourevitch and Shinn conduct comparative analysis at its best, introducing cross-country quantitative analysis where that is possible and appropriate, but also offering analytical narratives on corporate governance, its likely origins, and the political and legal structures that support it in 13 countries (mostly in Asia and Europe, but also including Chile and the United States). They combine superb conceptual clarity with informative detail.