Philipp Stehr

PhD Candidate
Ethiek Instituut

I am a PhD candidate at Utrecht University and work on the ERC-funded Corporatocracy project led by Rutger Claassen. My subproject is concerned with the relationship between business corporations and democracy. Business corporations hold an enormous amount of power towards employees, contractors, customers and the general public without any democratic control. This runs contrary to basic democratic convictions, so the democratization of business corporations is called for. In my thesis I explore several questions related to this project of democratization. What exactly does it mean to democratize a business corporation? Who should be involved and what kinds of institutional changes are democratic? How can we develop feasible institutional proposals for democratic business corporations? What are feasible institutional proposals and what does 'feasible' even mean in the context of such a fundamental change to our economic infrastructure?

Besides my project I am generally interested in political and social theory, especially where it concerns the economic sphere. I also have a research interest in Critical Theory and the Frankfurt School, especially Max Horkheimer.

Before coming to Utrecht, I have completed my MA at the Ruhr-University Bochum with a thesis entitled "Corporate Moral Agency on the Market - What Corporations Can and Cannot Do." In 2017 I received my BA in Philosophy with a minor in Business Studies from Goethe-University Frankfurt.