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This week’s editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

openDemocracy contributors chart the past and future for corporations.

We begin with a series of scene setting texts. In Loot, Nick Robins takes a view on the East India Company, one of the first giant multi-nationals; John Kay offers a clever, partly satirical analysis on the business of energy extraction in the developing world; while Friends of the Earth and Diane Coyle slug it out in the ideological battle over corporate regulation.

A detailed timeline on the origins and development of the modern corporation follows with an intereview with John Micklethwait, US editor of The Economist, acting in the company's defence. In reply Deborah Doanne pooh-poohs his free market views: Companies could do more for society, she says, if only they were brave enough.

Then our keynote roundtable between top corporate critics and supporters (featuring Martin Wolf) on subjects of Enron, global regulation and corporate responsibility in developing markets, with a prelude that introduces the speakers and their arguments.

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart chairman of Anglo American, and formerly so at Shell, answers back with an agenda for change in Africa, and former top US financial regulator Bill Black draws knives on Enron and the culture that breeds corporate crime in America.

Loot: in search of the East India Company

Concerns about corporate power and responsibility are as old as the corporation itself. In this account of the East India Company, the world's first transnational corporation, Nick Robins argues that an unholy alliance between British government, military and commerce held India in slavery, reversed the flow of trade and cultural influence forever between the East and West and then sunk almost without trace under the weight of colonial guilt.

Psychos in suits: corporate CEOs in need of (an) asylum

Corporate America is mired in scandal, and chief executive officers (CEOs) are in the line of fire. But if the problem lies deeper than just a few rotten apples, so the solution requires a new business model that creates an ethical foundation for CEO behaviour. Behind the headlines, it’s already happening.

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