Throughout the world, there has been a growing wave of interest in global corporate power and the rise of a transnational capitalist class, triggered by economic and political transformations that have blurred national borders and disembedded corporate business from national domiciles. Using social network analysis, William Carroll maps the changing field of power generated by elite relations among the world's largest corporations and related political organizations.
Carroll provides an in-depth analysis that spans the three decades of the late 20th and early 21st century, when capitalist globalization attained unprecedented momentum, propelled both by the transnationalization of accumulation and by the political paradigm of transnational neoliberalism. This has been an era in which national governments have deregulated capital, international institutions such as the World Trade Organization and the World Economic Forum have gained prominence, and production and finance have become more fully transnational, increasing the structural power of capital over communities and workers.
Within this context of transformation, the book charts the making of a transnational capitalist class, reaching beyond national forms of capitalist class organization into a global field, but facing spirited opposition from below in an ongoing struggle that is also a struggle over alternative global futures.
'Building on Fennema's pathbreaking research on corporate networks in the 1980s, Carroll and his colleagues have produced an impressive array of evidence to suggest that a transnational capitalist class is in the making. Mapping the social organization of this class through the network-analytic approach, the book reveals a multitude of corporate interlocks over space and time showing that transnational corporate and political linkages have been growing, particularly in the case of Fortune Global 500 corporations from 1996 to 2006. All this is accomplished with the help of dozens of tables and figures, making this very complex subject much clearer to understand than would be the case with text alone. This book is the most significant recent contribution on the transnational capitalist class.' - Leslie Sklair, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics' 'Bill Carroll's The Making of a Transnational Capitalist Class is a state-of-the art analysis of the global political-economic power structure as it has developed into the current century. I know of no author in the field who has been able to combine a mastery of empirical method in analysing corporate and planning-group interlocks on a world scale, with an incisive political analysis of the forces occupying the most central locations in the networks that emerge from this analysis. Combining theoretical acumen with an unfailing commitment to social justice and fairness, Carroll brings to this enterprise decades of research experience, which has only gained in sophistication over the years.Not only do his findings represent the most up-to-date and detailed information on the global structures of power. The work equally includes, in a brilliant concluding chapter, an analysis of the social forces ranged against the intricate structures of corporate power and a realistic assessment of the balance of strength in each case. At a time when the capitalist world economy is in the throes of one of the deepest crises in its existence, a fine-grained mapping of the personalities, corporations, and private consultative bodies that actually were running the show to right before it came crashing down, this book is a bombshell that will help clear the way for a renovated global political economy.' - Kees van der Pijl, University of Sussex