Dissensus! Radical democracy and business ethics

Carl Rhodes*, Iain Munro, Torkild Thanem, Alison Pullen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this introductory essay, we outline the relationship between political dissensus and radical democracy, focusing especially on how such a politics might inform the study of business ethics. This politics is located historically in the failure of liberal democracy to live up to its promise, as well as the deleterious response to that from reactionary populism, strong-man authoritarianism, and exploitative capitalism. In the context of these political vicissitudes, we turn to radical democracy as a form of contestation that offers hope in an affirmative, inclusive and sustainable alternative. On this basis we introduce the papers in the special issue as a collective exploration of the ethics and politics of radical democracy as manifesting in dissensus and the subversion of corporate and elite power by alternative democratic practices and realities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jan 2020



  • Dissensus
  • Politics
  • Radical democracy

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