Democratizing the Corporation

Democratizing the Corporation:The Bicameral Firm and Beyond

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How democracy can be extended to the workplace

Although contemporary Western societies refer to themselves as “democratic,” the bulk of the population spend much of their lives in workplaces that have more in common with tyranny. Gigantic corporations such as Amazon, Meta, Exxon, and Walmart are among the richest and most powerful institutions in the world yet accountable to no one but their shareholders. The undemocratic nature of conventional firms generates profound problems across society, hurting more than just the workplace and contributing to environmental destruction and spiraling inequality.

Against this backdrop, Isabelle Ferreras proposes a radical but realistic plan to democratize the private firm. She suggests that all large firms should be bicamerally governed, with a chamber of worker representatives sharing equal governance power with the standard board representing owners. In response to this proposal, twelve leading experts on corporate behavior from multiple disciplines consider its attractiveness, viability, and achievability as a “real utopian” proposal to strengthen democracy in our time.


  • An essential book and a crucial discussion in order to rethink economic democracy and the structure of power relations within firms. A must-read!

    Thomas Piketty (PSE-ENS, Paris)
  • The idea that power should be held to account is widely accepted, but has been woefully neglected in economic relations. Ferreras' path breaking idea to govern firms like democratic governments by dividing rather than centralizing power offers a fertile ground for reimagining firms in the 21st century.

    Katharina Pistor (Edwin B. Parker Professor of Comparative Law & Director, Center on Global Legal Transformation, Columbia Law School, NYC)
  • A landmark publication for anyone who believes that capitalism is not the end of history. We deserve a more democratic, just and sustainable economy, one step towards which might well be Isabelle Ferreras's visionary plan for economic bicameralism.

    Hélène Landemore (Full Professor in the Political Science department, Yale University Distinguished Researcher, Institute for Ethics in AI at the University of Oxford)