Politics versus Economics Philosophical Reflections on the Nature of Corporate Governance

Blok, Vincent


In this article, we philosophically reflect on the nature of corporate governance. We raise thequestion whether control is still a feasible ideal of corporate governance and reflect on theimplications of the epistemic insufficiency of economic institutions with regard to grandchallenges like of global warming for our conceptualization of corporate governance. We firstintroduce the concept of corporate governance from the perspective of economics and politics.We then trace the genealogy of the concept of governance based on a selective reading ofGiorgio Agamben’s work, who has pointed at two interdependent paradigms of governance inthe Christian tradition, and apply his categories in the context of corporate governance. Wefinally engage in a critical reflection on the concept of corporate governance and develop fourcharacteristics of corporate governance that can guide future conceptual as well as empiricalresearch in the field of corporate social responsibility of economic institutions.