The Multinational Corporation as “the Good Despot”: The Democratic Costs of Privatization in Global Settings

Doreen Lustig and Eyal Benvenisti

Appeared in 15 Theoretical Inquiries in Law 125 (2014)

In this Article we revisit John Stuart Mill’s critique of the idea of governance by a Good Despot to problematize the contemporary exercise of authority and influence by multinational companies, especially in foreign countries. We redefine the problem of privatization by shifting attention to the democracy losses associated with the privatized decision-making process. This allows us to offer a critical assessment of the potentials and limitations of contemporary attempts to solve the acute problem of democratic deficit associated with privatization.

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