Friday, 13 February 2015

Review essay: "Corporate Sovereignty" by Joshua Barkan

... a review essay, of sorts, for Antipode Foundation dealing with a book about the historical origins of the corporate form; I briefly discuss how I think the book helps explain the emergence of the modern state from the establishment of corporate entities as feudalism and monarchical sovereignty eroded (hence my reference to Crusader Kings 2!). Here's the first paragraph:
"For one reason or another, I’ve been playing a lot of Crusader Kings 2 (CK2) recently. It’s a computer game set in the medieval era in which you play an individual noble who leads your family dynasty towards greatness–or not, as the case may be. Your character has traits–some good, some bad, some horrific–which impact on your relationship with other characters in the game. There is no real aim in the game, apart from the survival of your dynasty for as long as possible; you can try to secure more lands, as well as allies, or you can sit in a backwater county for generation after generation, depending on your preference. But why am I even mentioning CK2 in a book review? Well, it’s actually a really useful representation of sovereignty in the feudal age, a topic central to Josh Barkan’s recent, detailed and stimulating book, Corporate Sovereignty."
Read the rest of the piece here.

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