Corporate Power, Oligopolies, and the Crisis of the State

By Luis Suarez-Villa

Subjects: Political Economy, Political Sociology, Economy And Society, Political Science, Economic History
Paperback : 9781438454863, 378 pages, January 2016
Hardcover : 9781438454856, 378 pages, February 2015

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Table of contents

Fundamental Split
Governance Derailed

Addresses the power of oligopolistic corporations in contemporary society.


The largest, wealthiest corporations have gained unprecedented power and influence in contemporary life. From cradle to grave the decisions made by these entities have an enormous impact on how we live and work, what we eat, our physical and psychological health, what we know or believe, whom we elect, and how we deal with one another and with the natural world around us. At the same time, government seems ever more subservient to the power of these oligopolies, providing numerous forms of corporate welfare—tax breaks, subsidies, guarantees, and bailouts—while neglecting the most basic needs of the population. In Corporate Power, Oligopolies, and the Crisis of the State, Luis Suarez-Villa employs a multidisciplinary perspective to provide unprecedented documentation of a growing crisis of governance, marked by a massive transfer of risk from the private sector to the state, skyrocketing debt, great inequality and economic insecurity, along with an alignment of the interests of politicians and a new, minuscule but immensely wealthy and influential corporate elite. Thanks to this dysfunctional environment, Suarez-Villa argues, stagnation and a vanishing public trust have become the hallmarks of our time.

Luis Suarez-Villa is Professor of Social Ecology and of Planning, Policy, and Design at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of several books, including Globalization and Technocapitalism: The Political Economy of Corporate Power and Technological Domination and Technocapitalism: A Critical Perspective on Technological Innovation and Corporatism.


"Suarez-Villa … has performed a great service with this readable, analytical, and well-researched book … This is a must-order book for libraries … Highly recommended. " — CHOICE

"This book makes a substantial contribution to the literature, particularly to the field of political economy. It is unique and much needed for the way it draws links between a wide and diverse range of social, economic, and political phenomena through a sophisticated and powerful theoretical analysis. Luis Suarez-Villa manages to paint the big picture while touching upon detailed developments in numerous fields—not unlike the great political economists of the nineteenth century. " — Joel Bakan, author of The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power