IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Occupy the System! Societal Constitutionalism and Transnational Corporate Accounting

Listed author(s):
  • Moritz Renner


    (University of Bremen - Faculty of Law & ZenTra)

Registered author(s):

    Today's most pressing constitutional question is posed by a global economic system whose expansive tendencies seem no longer controllable. The current financial/debt crisis has triggered diverse reactions in the political arena ranging from the reformist ordo-liberal approach followed by France and Germany in the context of Eurozone negotiations to the anarchist ideas of the Occupy Now movement. As different as these reactions may be, they can be clearly situated in an ideological coordinate system which has basically remained unchanged since the 1920ies. In the past century, two lines of thought have determined our conceptions of political economy: The German debate of the Weimar republic has labelled these lines of thought as Economic Democracy (Wirtschaftsdemokratie), on the one hand, and Economic Constitutionalism (Wirtschaftsverfassung), on the other. The Societal Constitutionalism approach apparently shifts the established ideological coordinates by developing a theory of self-constitutionalizating of social spheres. It seeks to combine the virtues of grassroots democracy with the sophistication of systemic social theory. Thus, its normative claim can be formulated as an oxymoron: 'Occupy the System!' The claim is an oxymoron, because it points to the apparent impossibility of critical social theory in a functionally differentiated society: How can a functional system such as the economy be 'occupied' or 'democratized'? In my contribution, I try to find the grain of truth this oxymoron contains. With a view to the concrete example of transnational standard-setting procedures in the field of corporate accounting, I examine institutional and systemic processes which enable an emerging political discourse at the core of the global economy.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2012
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by ZenTra - Center for Transnational Studies in its series ZenTra Working Papers in Transnational Studies with number 08 / 2012.

    in new window

    Length: 23 pages
    Date of creation: Nov 2012
    Date of revision: Nov 2012
    Handle: RePEc:zen:wpaper:08
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    26111 Oldenburg

    Phone: +49 441 798-4117
    Fax: +49 441 798-4116
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zen:wpaper:08. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Finn Marten Koerner)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.