CoursesBusiness, Law, and Democracy
LGST 245

Business, Law, and Democracy

What is the relationship between business and democracy? Do institutions of free enterprise depend on democratic government—and vice versa? Do democratic decision-making structures enhance efficient outcomes? What principles inform shareholder democracy? What is the relationship of business, democracy, and the rule of law? How does the ideal of citizenship apply in the context of business?

Tues./Thurs., 3 PM – 4:30 PM

Description of current questions for discussion in early classes:

Why did Twitter decide to suspend the account of President Donald Trump?  Was this decision justified?  Does a private company that provides a social media platform have a duty to engage in politics – or to stay out of politics?  Should decisions about this kind of access be regulated or left to private business decisions?

In the United States, executives and employees of companies may form alliances to contribute to political candidates known as Political Action Committees.  Following the violent attack on the Capitol on January 6, a number of these company-oriented PACs announced a decision to withdraw support from any Congressperson who objected to the Electoral College vote.  What is your reaction to this decision?  Do you agree or disagree with it?  What are your reasons?

The course explores various dimensions of the relationship between business and democracy. Particular attention is given to legal structures that govern the relationship, but ethical considerations are examined as well.

Example Syllabus

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