Business, state, and community: 'responsible risk takers', New Labour, and the governance of corporate business

Wilson, G. ORCID: 0000-0002-4525-5934, 2000. Business, state, and community: 'responsible risk takers', New Labour, and the governance of corporate business. Journal of Law and Society, 27 (1), pp. 151-177. ISSN 0263–323X

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In December 1998, Peter Mandelson MP, one of the principal architects of the Labour Party’s victory in the May 1997 general election, dramatically resigned as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. Nevertheless, despite his relatively brief period in that office, Mr. Mandelson left his imprint on policy through the publication in November 1998 of a major White Paper, ‘Our Competitive Future: Building the Knowledge Driven Economy’. The White Paper sets out the New Labour analysis of the national political economy in a globalized world economy and is very much influenced by Mr. Mandelson’s experience of the entrepreneurial spirit during his fact-finding visit to the United States of America. This article seeks to chart the relationship between New Labour’s desire to foster the development of the corporate sector within a vibrant entrepreneurial culture and the need to ensure that the integrity of the market is preserved in an arena which is seen as inimicable to strong regulatory intervention by the state. As well as mapping New Labour’s political rhetoric onto contemporary debates in corporate governance, the analysis will involve an examination of the interface between business practice and morality. In particular, the article will focus upon the role of the conception of company directors as ‘responsible risk takers’ and the upon the use of name-and-shame sanctions in the development of an entrepreneurial culture in which all corporate enterprises are seen as having a legitimate societal ‘licence to operate’.

Item Type: Journal article
Description: The definitive version is available at
Publication Title: Journal of Law and Society
Creators: Wilson, G.
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Date: 2000
Volume: 27
Number: 1
ISSN: 0263–323X
Rights: © Blackwell Publishers Ltd. 2000
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Law School
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 09:46
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:10

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