The Business Corporation as a Political Actor

Social Justice for Corporations

The role of corporations has been neglected in most theories of social justice. One of the challenges that corporations pose to theories of social justice is their incompatibility with the traditional private/public distinction which underlies many such theories. On the one hand, corporations, as privately financed and managed economic institutions, are not obvious actors of justice, in the way states are. On the other hand, not accounting for their role within a theory of justice seems out-of-date, considering the corporate political power which significantly surpasses the power of average citizens or firms.

This subproject takes on this challenge and aims at formulating a theory of social justice for corporations. It problematizes and defines the role of corporations as actors of justice against the background of the broad spectrum of theories of justice. Apart from this, it addresses three applied topics in particular: corporate governance, finance, and taxation. Some questions that this project tries to answer include: what forms of corporate governance are preferable in terms of justice? What duties do corporations owe to their employees, in particular with regard to the primary income distribution? What duties of fair taxation, if any, do corporations have?

This project is researched by Barbara Bziuk.

Would you like to read more about the current developments within the sub-projects? Click here.