National economies are currently on life support and yet giant corporations continue to consolidate their central role within regulatory capitalism. The financial dominance of the world’s most powerful firms is met with a growing capacity to shape the direction of scientific advance and the aims of policy across many domains. In regards to Covid-19, corporations search for vaccines, manufacture PPE, develop tracing apps, and manage vast hospital networks. But as private firms become increasingly central to the governance of democratic societies, they open themselves to political contention and new forms of regulation. Previously ‘global’ firms are compelled to choose geopolitical sides as the tech economy merges with the security state; regulators everywhere seek to curb platform corporations whose threat to elections and social cohesion becomes common knowledge. While these developments may seem profound the GFC reminds us that crisis-driven choices in political economy can soon be undone.
*Please note that this is a public event and will be recorded. A copy of the recording will be made available on the RegNet website after the event.