Feb 1, 2019 Stefano Marcuzzi , Alessio Terzi
In the absence of government action to address today’s most pressing global problems, multinational corporations are stepping up to offer their own solutions. As in the seventeenth century, when European joint-stock companies built private empires, the future of sovereignty is at stake.
BRUSSELS – When much of the world’s business elite gathered in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos last week, the assembled CEOs, hedge fund managers, and other business titans pontificated on many issues, except one: the extent to which they are wielding powers once reserved for governments. At a time when the capacity of governments to deliver for their constituents is shrinking, large corporations’ political clout is expanding, sometimes dramatically so, as in the case of Big Tech companies like Facebook and Google.
In the face of today’s most urgent challenges – including cybersecurity, climate change, geopolitical turmoil, and migration – nation-states seem incapable of marshaling both the will and the resources to mount an adequate response. Will big business be the solution, or is it part of the problem?