Regulating global capitalism amid rampant corporate wrongdoing

Read a new REMARC article in Research Policy: “Regulating global capitalism amid rampant corporate wrongdoing” by Elisa Giuliani. The note is a reply to “Three frames for innovation policy: R&D, systems of innovation and transformative change” by Johan Schot and Ed Steinmueller. Enjoy! 

Abstract

Despite progress in science and technology and the economic prosperity achieved by numerous countries over the past century, contemporary global capitalism has left us with severe grand challenges for the future including rising inequality, global warming, modern slavery, child labor and several other human rights struggles. How can we fix them? For many years, scholars and policy makers alike have believed that economic growth (fueled by innovation) would fix institutional failures and lift people out of human misery. We now know that this story creaks. I would suggest that the current grand challenges are related in a non-trivial way to companies’ wrongful business conduct, especially that of large multinational corporations which have grown to rival governments in size, and have proven to be powerful agents capable of shaping the global governance agenda. I challenge technological determinism and ‘transformative change’ frameworks by arguing that the regulation of global capitalism needs to put powerful private actors at center stage since neglecting them will give rise to yet another generation of dysfunctional development and innovation policies.

Keywords

Grand challenges; Global capitalism; Responsible innovation; Corporate wrongdoing; Sustainable pathways