This project explores the economic, political, and comparative dimension of the business corporation. Following the recent political turn of economic theories of the corporation in political theory, this project examines whether major economic theories of the firm, including but not limited to the widely influential Chicago theory of the firm which conceives the firm as a private actor, can account for the kinds of power that business corporations are holding and exercising.
This book project is based on my doctoral dissertation. It problematizes the Chicago theory of the firm, which presupposes that the firm is a private actor. The book demonstrates that under conditions of contemporary capitalism, relationships within the firm cannot be classified merely as “nexuses of contracts” which individuals are free to join and leave as they please, because firms exercise real (and oftentimes unreasonable) authority over employees in ways that substantially undermine egalitarian norms, democratic relationships, equal opportunities for social and political participation, and the epistemic self-confidence of (especially disadvantaged) workers.
The central theme of this project is that the introduction of big data has fundamentally transformed the ways how big tech firms pursue profit-maximization. This project aims to demonstrate the increasing incompatibility between democratic politics and rising data power, especially in cases where big tech firms rely on such power to contest democratic legislative process.