New Books Network

Alexander Hertel-Fernandez

Politics at Work

How Companies Turn Their Workers into Lobbyists

Oxford University Press 2018

New Books in American StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Political ScienceNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Public PolicyNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network April 9, 2018 Heath Brown

Alexander Hertel-Fernandez is the author of Politics at Work: How Companies Turn Their Workers into Lobbyists (Oxford University Press, 2018). He is an assistant...

Alexander Hertel-Fernandez is the author of Politics at Work: How Companies Turn Their Workers into Lobbyists (Oxford University Press, 2018). He is an assistant professor of political science at Columbia University.

We often think of corporate political power expressed in campaign donations, political advertising, and lobbying. Darrell West, Ray LaRaja and Brian Schaffner, and Erica Fowler have all been on the podcast in the past to talk about this side of money and politics. Hertel-Fernandez is focused elsewhere to discover how companies influence politics. He sets his sights on the internal politicking that companies engage in with their own employees. Through rigorous surveys and interviews, he discovers that a quarter of American employees have experienced some type of political influence from their employer, including encouragements to register to vote and pressure to vote for favored candidates. And once contacted by an employer, many employees feels pressured to act, sometimes out of fear of retribution, docked pay, or dismissal from the job. While this is hardly a brand new corporate tactic, Hertel-Fernandez explains how it has grown since the 1990s and also why this is a worrisome trend for the democracy and employees.