Political philosophy is the branch of philosophy that is concerned with the study of government. Often, that theoretical lens is applied only to states but my interest is to apply it to corporations–some of which are large enough to rival states in income and influence. My past work focused on framing public relations and corporate propaganda as a kind of government that corporations use to guide their publics’ conduct. This was a significant departure from most treatments of PR and propaganda that viewed them through an epistemological lens. This new political perspective on corporations and PR has lead to important findings about why propaganda is so effective, so ubiquitous, and so hard to combat.
My current work broadens my past work on corporate government from public relations and propaganda to include marketing, industrial design, and advertising. I am currently most focused on researching the history of marketing thought. Even though I am focusing on marketing at the moment, the question animating my current work is not just how do marketing, PR, advertising, etc. work to govern the public on their own and separately, but how do they work as part of a broader coordinated effort by the corporation to govern their publics?
My future work aims to tackle how the contemporary online marketing efforts of corporations work to govern their publics. I aim to research online corporate government as a development, and in some ways a break, with techniques of corporate governmentality used in the 20th century. Online government is part of a lineage of the elitist, non-democratic, and exploitative relations of government corporations have been growing for more than century. I want to give a deep and historically situated account through putting online corporate government in proper genealogical context.