The Politicization of Corporations: The Case of the World Economic Forum

Christina Garsten, Adrienne Sörbom

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    This paper departs from an interest in the involvement of business leaders in the sphere of politics, in the broad sense. At a general level, we are seeing a proliferation of usages of non-market corporate strategies, such as testimony, lobbying, interlocking of positions and other means to influence policymakers at all levels of government and international institutions as an adjunct to the firm’s market strategies. This paper brings to the fore the role of corporations in the World Economic Forum (WEF), and how firms act through the WEF to advance their interests, financial as well as political. What is the role of business in the WEF, and how do business corporations advance their interests through the WEF? Empirically we depart from ethnographic field studies of the World Economic Forum, drawing on observations from WEF-events and interviews with participants and organizers. We propose that corporations find a strategically positioned amplifier for their non-market interests in the WEF. The WEF functions to enhance and gain leverage for their ideas and priorities in a highly selective and resourceful environment. In the long run, both the market priorities and the political interests of business may be served by engagement in the WEF. By way of corporate financial resources, the tapping of knowledge and expertise, and access to vast networks of business relations, the WEF is also able to amplify its own voice and agency in the field of global governance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2014
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventThe American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting 2014 - Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, DC, United States
    Duration: 2 Dec 20147 Dec 2014
    Conference number: 113
    https://aaa.confex.com/aaa/2014/webprogram/start.html

    Conference

    ConferenceThe American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting 2014
    Number113
    LocationMarriott Wardman Park
    CountryUnited States
    CityWashington, DC
    Period02/12/201407/12/2014
    Internet address

    Bibliographical note

    CBS Library does not have access to the material

    Cite this

    Garsten, C., & Sörbom, A. (2014). The Politicization of Corporations: The Case of the World Economic Forum. Paper presented at The American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting 2014, Washington, DC, United States.
    Garsten, Christina ; Sörbom, Adrienne. / The Politicization of Corporations : The Case of the World Economic Forum. Paper presented at The American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting 2014, Washington, DC, United States.
    @conference{02711a62408e480ca814f005dcb73ed3,
    title = "The Politicization of Corporations: The Case of the World Economic Forum",
    abstract = "This paper departs from an interest in the involvement of business leaders in the sphere of politics, in the broad sense. At a general level, we are seeing a proliferation of usages of non-market corporate strategies, such as testimony, lobbying, interlocking of positions and other means to influence policymakers at all levels of government and international institutions as an adjunct to the firm’s market strategies. This paper brings to the fore the role of corporations in the World Economic Forum (WEF), and how firms act through the WEF to advance their interests, financial as well as political. What is the role of business in the WEF, and how do business corporations advance their interests through the WEF? Empirically we depart from ethnographic field studies of the World Economic Forum, drawing on observations from WEF-events and interviews with participants and organizers. We propose that corporations find a strategically positioned amplifier for their non-market interests in the WEF. The WEF functions to enhance and gain leverage for their ideas and priorities in a highly selective and resourceful environment. In the long run, both the market priorities and the political interests of business may be served by engagement in the WEF. By way of corporate financial resources, the tapping of knowledge and expertise, and access to vast networks of business relations, the WEF is also able to amplify its own voice and agency in the field of global governance.",
    keywords = "Global politics, Corporation, Governance, World Economic Forum",
    author = "Christina Garsten and Adrienne S{\"o}rbom",
    note = "CBS Library does not have access to the material; null ; Conference date: 02-12-2014 Through 07-12-2014",
    year = "2014",
    language = "English",
    url = "https://aaa.confex.com/aaa/2014/webprogram/start.html",

    }

    Garsten, C & Sörbom, A 2014, 'The Politicization of Corporations: The Case of the World Economic Forum' Paper presented at, Washington, DC, United States, 02/12/2014 - 07/12/2014, .

    The Politicization of Corporations : The Case of the World Economic Forum. / Garsten, Christina; Sörbom, Adrienne.

    2014. Paper presented at The American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting 2014, Washington, DC, United States.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

    TY - CONF

    T1 - The Politicization of Corporations

    T2 - The Case of the World Economic Forum

    AU - Garsten, Christina

    AU - Sörbom, Adrienne

    N1 - CBS Library does not have access to the material

    PY - 2014

    Y1 - 2014

    N2 - This paper departs from an interest in the involvement of business leaders in the sphere of politics, in the broad sense. At a general level, we are seeing a proliferation of usages of non-market corporate strategies, such as testimony, lobbying, interlocking of positions and other means to influence policymakers at all levels of government and international institutions as an adjunct to the firm’s market strategies. This paper brings to the fore the role of corporations in the World Economic Forum (WEF), and how firms act through the WEF to advance their interests, financial as well as political. What is the role of business in the WEF, and how do business corporations advance their interests through the WEF? Empirically we depart from ethnographic field studies of the World Economic Forum, drawing on observations from WEF-events and interviews with participants and organizers. We propose that corporations find a strategically positioned amplifier for their non-market interests in the WEF. The WEF functions to enhance and gain leverage for their ideas and priorities in a highly selective and resourceful environment. In the long run, both the market priorities and the political interests of business may be served by engagement in the WEF. By way of corporate financial resources, the tapping of knowledge and expertise, and access to vast networks of business relations, the WEF is also able to amplify its own voice and agency in the field of global governance.

    AB - This paper departs from an interest in the involvement of business leaders in the sphere of politics, in the broad sense. At a general level, we are seeing a proliferation of usages of non-market corporate strategies, such as testimony, lobbying, interlocking of positions and other means to influence policymakers at all levels of government and international institutions as an adjunct to the firm’s market strategies. This paper brings to the fore the role of corporations in the World Economic Forum (WEF), and how firms act through the WEF to advance their interests, financial as well as political. What is the role of business in the WEF, and how do business corporations advance their interests through the WEF? Empirically we depart from ethnographic field studies of the World Economic Forum, drawing on observations from WEF-events and interviews with participants and organizers. We propose that corporations find a strategically positioned amplifier for their non-market interests in the WEF. The WEF functions to enhance and gain leverage for their ideas and priorities in a highly selective and resourceful environment. In the long run, both the market priorities and the political interests of business may be served by engagement in the WEF. By way of corporate financial resources, the tapping of knowledge and expertise, and access to vast networks of business relations, the WEF is also able to amplify its own voice and agency in the field of global governance.

    KW - Global politics

    KW - Corporation

    KW - Governance

    KW - World Economic Forum

    M3 - Paper

    ER -

    Garsten C, Sörbom A. The Politicization of Corporations: The Case of the World Economic Forum. 2014. Paper presented at The American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting 2014, Washington, DC, United States.