Wealth and Power: Maintaining Political Equality in a Capitalist Society

Rutger Claassen*, Michael Bennett, Huub Brouwer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBook editingScientific


Is political equality viable given the unequal private property holdings characteristic of a capitalist economy? This book places the wealth-politics nexus at the centre of scholarly analysis. Traditional theories of democracy and property have often ignored the ways in which the rich attempt to convert their wealth into political power, operating on the implicit assumption that politics is isolated from economic forces. This book brings the moral and political links between wealth and power into clear focus. The chapters are divided into three thematic sections. Part I analyses wealth and politics from the perspective of various political traditions, such as liberalism, republicanism, anarchism, and Marxism. The second part addresses the economic sphere, and looks at the political influence of corporations, philanthropists and commons-based organizations. Finally, Part III turns to the political sphere and looks at the role of political parties and constitutions, and phenomena such as corruption and lobbying. Wealth and Power will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working in political philosophy, political science, economics, and law. TOC: Introduction 1. Wealth & Power in a Capitalist Society: An Introduction. Michael Bennett, Huub Brouwer, Rutger Claassen Part I. Theoretical Perspectives 2. Republicanism, Oligarchic Democracy and Norms of Political Equality. Jessica Kimpell 3. Anarchism, Property and Political Power. Jessica Flanigan 4. Wealth and power: liberal egalitarian perspectives. Richard Arneson 5. Private Power and Political Domination: A Marxian Approach. Igor Shoikhedbrod Part II. Economic Institutions – Their Political Nature and Effects on Politics 6. Corporate Governance. Thomas Christiano 7. The corporation’s license to operate: a radical approach. Michael Bennett, Rutger Claassen 8. Competition. Waheed Hussain 9. Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy. Emma Saunders-Hastings 10. Community Wealth Building, Inequality, and Power. Martin O’Neill and Joe Guinan 11. Corporate Power, Intellectual Property, and the Knowledge Commons. Yara al Salman Part III. Political Institutions – Shaping and Being Shaped by Economic Interests 12. In Whose Interests? Financial Crisis, Sovereign Debt and Financial Capitalism. Anahi Wiedenbrug 13. Corruption and political equality in capitalist societies. Gillian Brock 14. Political Lobbying and Inequality: How the Rich Have Captured Democracy, and Why We’re Powerless to do Anything About it. Phil Parvin 15. Automation as an Argument for Property-Owning Democracy? Huub Brouwer 16. Saving Parties from Money. Chiara Destri 17. Constitutions against Oligarchy? Stuart White and Elliot Bulmer
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusIn preparation - 2022


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