Autocracy Inc.: the Role of Transnational Corporations on Democratic Backsliding

In the past years, as authoritarians rose to power around the globe, many scholars started explaining this situation through a legal point of view. Nevertheless, these studies’ focus on States has a blind side: that the ongoing “third wave of autocratization” is the first one to occur in a globalized economy, where transnational business are active agents. With the purpose of filling this scientific gap, this study aims to show how transnational corporations can actively participate in the process of democratic backsliding. It does that by explaining two business actions: the capture and rupture of the political discourse. The former refers to corporations that are increasingly carrying social banners and its negative effect towards social and economic rights. The latter explains how corporate action can directly affect civil and political rights on democratic countries. Rather than presenting final conclusions, the paper opens the discussion on this issue and foster further analyzes.