Isabelle Ferreras


Table of Contents

Introduction: What about the Workers?

  • Overview: Against the Reductio Ad Corporationem
    • Background
    • Part I. Critical History of Power in the Firm: The Slow Transition of Work from the Private to the Public Sphere
    • Part II. What Is a Firm?
    • Part III. Looking to the Future: From Political Bicameralism to Economic Bicameralism
  • Regaining Control of Global Finance Capitalism: “It’s the Corporation, Stupid!

Part I Critical History of Power in the Firm: The Slow Transition of Work from the Private to the Public Sphere

  1. Stage One: The Workplace and Its Emergence from the Household
  • About the Locus of Economic Activities

2.  The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: Workers’ Movements and the Invention of Collective Bargaining

  • Work Enabling Participation in the Public Sphere
  • Collective Bargaining Makes Waves, or the Limits of 
Economic Liberalism

3.  The Twentieth Century and the Ambiguities of Institutional Innovations in the Capitalist Firm

  • Options
  • Participating in Management
  • Comanagement
  • Union Reactions

4.  The Twenty-First-Century Service Economy is Bringing Work fully into the Public Sphere

  • To Govern

Part II What Is a Firm?

5.  Obsolete Vision: Instrumental Rationality as the Firm’s Sole Logic

  • Economic Theory of the Firm
    • The Firm as Instrument of the Capital Investor
    • Work as Instrument Alone
    • The Capital Investor as Optimal Guarantor of Instrumental Rationality
  • Marxist Theory in Support of the Idea of Labor as

6.  Foundations for the Political Theory of the Firm

A Substantive Account of the Firm: Two Rationalities Make a Firm

  • Instrumental Rationality Sustained by Capital Investors in the Age of Global Finance
  • Expressive Rationality: Moving Labor Investors in the Service-Based Economy
  • Expressive Relationship to Work
  • Public Character of Work
  • Political Logic of Work
  • Intuition of Democratic Justice
  • Conclusion: The Firm as the Conjoining of Instrumental and Expressive Rationalities

A Descriptive Account of the Firm: Fundamental Dimensions

  • Corporate Law and the Reductio ad Corporationem: Distinguishing the Firm from the Corporation
  • Labor Law and Sociology: Recognizing the Institution in
the Firm
  • Organization of the Firm: Networked and Fissured
  • Power: Authority, De Jure and De Facto Powers, Intra-Firm
 and Inter-Firm Relationships
  • Incompleteness and Goal Setting: The Reconstructive 
Identification of the Firm, Its Investors, and Their
 Specific Interests
  • The Firm as a Governed Polity, a Political Entity
  • The Firm as a Political Actor, Externally

Part III Looking to the Future: From Political Bicameralism to Economic Bicameralism

7.  Bicameral Moments: A Pivotal Institutional Innovation for Governments in Democratic Transition

  • Ancient Origins: Rome
  • Modern Reasons for Bicameral Legislature
    • The Great Modern Example: The British Compromise
    • Condition of Legitimate Government
    • Condition of Reasonable Government
    • Condition of Intelligent Government

8.  Analogy: The Executive of the Firm Answering to a Two-Chamber Parliament

  • Justification
  • Relations between the Two Chambers
  • Conditions for Responsibility
  • The Classic Capitalist Firm: The Unicameral,
 Capital-Managed Institution Mistaken 
for the Corporation
  • Government Structure of the Bicameral Firm
    • Composition of Chambers
    • Size of Chambers
    • Convocation and Prerogatives of the Chambers
    • Role of the Executive Committee
    • Organization of Work, Hierarchy, and Delegation of Powers
    • Role of Unions and Labor Organizations
    • Firms Concerned


  • On Democracy as a Project
  • The Place of the Firm in Democracy
  • The Contradiction between Capitalism and Democracy
  • Considering the Firm for Itself, at Last

A Reader’s Guide for Reflection and Debate about Economic Bicameralism



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