New articles by N. van der Zwan on Employee-Shareholder Activism & History of Finance Capitalism

New Article on Employee-Shareholder Activism

Van der Zwan, N. (2013) ‘(Dis)Owning the Corporation: Three Models of Employee-Shareholder Activism in Germany,’ New Political Economy, Vol. 18, No. 1 (February): 89-111.

Natascha van der Zwan published an article on shareholder activism by German employee representatives in the most recent issue of New Political Economy. The author argues that this new form of labor activism is a manifestation of a new politics of solidarity that has emerged in the wake of the financialisation process in Germany. Analyzing employee-shareholder campaigns in three large German corporations, she shows how employee-shareholder activists share a strong rejection of short-term shareholder value maximisation, particularly as it affects the corporation’s employees. Employee-shareholders have also created a new form of interest organization in these corporations, the so-called employee shareholder associations (Vereine der Belegschaftsaktionäre), which now represent employee interests alongside labor unions and works councils. An earlier version of this article was nominated for New Political Economy’s 2012 Graduate Student Paper Award.

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Review Article on the History of Finance Capitalism

Van der Zwan, N. (2013) ‘Review of Hyman, Louis, Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink and Krippner, Greta R., Capitalizing on Crisis: The Political Origins of the Rise of Finance and Ott, Julia C., When Wall Street Met Main Street: The Quest for an Investors’ Democracy’, H-Business, H-Net Reviews, March edition.

H-Net Business has published Natascha van der Zwan’s review article on three provocative new books on the financial history of the United States in the twentieth century. The books under review reveal how finance became part of a broader culture of aspiration for many ordinary Americans (becoming a citizen, owning a home). But the authors show that finance was also a project of social order, promoted by political and economic elites to hide potential sources of social unrest: the disenfranchisement of women and minority groups in the 1910s, inner-city impoverishment in the 1960s, or declining wages in the late twentieth century. Read together or independently, the books offer a welcome revision of our understanding of finance in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

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