REBALANCE - Reframing the mutual influence among large companies and democracies

While globalization, financialization and monopolies increasingly weaken democracies, large companies are having an ever-greater influence on how democracy is enacted in Europe, leading to a "market-conforming capitalism". Firms are eluding regulation, lobbying for their own rather than citizens’ interest, abusing human rights and push the abused to withdraw from democratic processes, fuelling populism. Some economic actors are experimenting with alternative models and demonstrating more interest in sustainability and tentative routes toward an alternative "democracy-conforming capitalism". In this debate, the application of political-science lenses has black-boxed large companies, while the viewpoint of management scholars has usually considered firms’ economic gains rather than impact on society and democracy. This has left a gap in our understanding of the mutual influence among large companies and democracies. The REBALANCE project (Reframing disruptivE Business of multinAtional corporation and gLobal value chAins within democratic and iNClusive citizenship processes) will fill this gap by investigating how large companies (1) have contributed to past and present threats to democracy; (2) can promote future democracy-enhancing business models and alternative organizational forms. 

Project website / EU Cordis database
Researcher: Francesco Zirpoli
Duration: 01/10/2022 - 30/09/2025
Funding: Horizon Europe - Culture, creativity and inclusive society