Lobbying has long been part of the political landscape. But in recent years links between big business and government have become stronger and more far-reaching than ever. Global corporations now demand control over decisions affecting labour laws, finance, public health, food and agriculture, safety regulations, taxes and international trade and investment. They even claim the right to private tribunals where they can sue governments for passing laws that could harm their present or future profits.
These business elites don't want to govern directly. They operate behind the scenes - directing planning, setting standards and fashioning government to maximise their own profits. Thanks to the UN Global Compact they have extended their influence to the highest levels of multilateral decision-making and now, via the Davos-inspired Global Redesign Initiative, they are setting their sights on managing world-wide public policy.
Elected by and accountable to no one, secretive and highly organized, these shadow sovereigns are destroying the very notion of the common good and making a mockery of democracy. It is high time we challenged this assault on our rights and our institutions. In this incisive and clear-sighted book Susan George provides us with the practical knowledge to do just that.