The Global Corporate Elite Uncovered

Friday, July 18, 2014: 10:30 AM
Room: 413
Oral Presentation
Eelke HEEMSKERK , Political Science, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The transnational orientation and organization of corporate elites has for long attracted the attention of those who expect that ongoing globalization goes hand in hand with transnational elite cohesion. The laborious nature of compiling reliable network datasets has hitherto forced scholars to focus on those arena’s where we expect transnational corporate elites to emerge, notably the largest (often stock listed) firms in the western industrialized world. This systemic bias disregards the role of non-western elites in the global regime and neglects a possible multi polar architecture of the global corporate elite. Applying state-of-the-art tools and techniques, we are able to overcome this burden by analyzing the entire network of interlocking directors between a set of 100.000 corporations across the globe in 2012. This allows us to uncover the extent to which western and non-western corporate elites occupy similar social circles; which firms, countries, sectors and cities serve as linchpins within the global corporate elite, and as such reveal the sites and spaces where transnational corporate elites organize themselves, both in the west and beyond.