25 August 2016 | PEIW | Projects

Corporate network governance
Power, Ownership and Control in Contemporary Global Capitalism

Eelke Heemskerk, principle investigator of Corporate Network Governance (CORPNET) and associate professor of political science at the University of Amsterdam. CORPNET analyzes how international elites got their economic power and influence, and how they keep it.

Past research has been unable to fully understand global business networks in part due to insufficient data clarifying the full breadth of corporate interactions globally, and insufficient analytical tools for analysing that breadth. This project seeks to do what has so far eluded existing scholarship: to fully explore the global network of corporate ownership and control as a complex system. Network structures may appear to be the result of a grand design at macro level, but are the outcome of the sum of the actions of a large set of interdependent actors. Using cutting-edge network science methods, the project explores for the first time the largest database on ownership and control covering over 100 million firms. Exploiting the longitudinal richness of the new data in combination with state-of-the-art methods and techniques makes it possible to model and empirically test generating mechanisms that drive network formation.

The overarching project aims to develop a theoretical and empirical understanding of complex global networks of corporate ownership and control. It is divided into five concrete and practical subprojects:

  1. network structures
  2. driving-forces
  3. re-concentration
  4. global corporate regime
  5. causes and consequences


Five years


Starting Grant by the European Research Council (ERC)