Fair Limits (project archive)

Academic events

Book Launch: Billionaires in World Politics (Peter Haegel)

During the book launch of Peter Hägel’s new book Billionaires in World Politics, Ingrid Robeyns offers a response from an ethics perspective. More responses are presented by Anne Monier, Barbara Buckinx and others.


About the book
In Billionaires in World Politics (Oxford University Press, 2020) Peter Hägel shows how the privatization of politics assumes a new dimension when billionaires wield power in world politics, and why this requires a re-thinking of individual agency in International Relations. Structural changes (globalization, neoliberalism, competition states, and global governance), he argues, have generated new opportunities for individuals to become extremely rich and to engage in politics across borders. Thus, Hägel conceptualizes political agency of billionaires in terms of capacities, goals, and power, while maintaining that this agency is contingent upon the specific political field a billionaire is trying to enter. In six case studies he explores the power of billionaires in their pursuit of security, wealth, and esteem. Finally, Hägel addresses three major questions: Is it more appropriate to see billionaires as ‘super-actors’, or as a global ‘super-class’? What is the relative power of billionaires within the international system? What does the power of billionaires mean for the liberal norms of legitimate political order?