Politics at Work: A Discussion of Corporate Influence Over Worker Politics with Alex Hertel-Fernandez

By Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, K. Sabeel Rahman, Nehemiah Rolle |

Politics at Work: A Discussion of Corporate Influence Over Worker Politics with Alex Hertel-Fernandez

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018
Registration at 5:30 PM
Discussion begins promptly at 6:00 PM
Program concludes at 7:15 PM

The Roosevelt Institute
570 Lexington Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 11103

The Roosevelt Institute is a leading voice explaining how disparities of economic power negatively impact the daily lives of families and working Americans, and jeopardize our political system. We are happy to invite you to an evening discussion of groundbreaking research, conducted by a member of the Roosevelt family, which elucidates a new threat posed by runaway corporate power.

Employers are increasingly exercising influence over their workers’ politics in order to change elections and remake public policy. In Politics at Work (Oxford University Press, March 2018), Roosevelt Institute Campus Network alum and Columbia University assistant professor Alexander Hertel-Fernandez explains explains why more firms have sought to shape the politics of their workers in recent decades. Using a diverse array of original evidence, the book describes how powerful firms are able to use their workers to advance narrow, corporate-friedly political objectives.

Please join us for two discussions. The first will feature Hertel-Fernandez and Roosevelt Fellow Sabeel Rahman discussing the root causes and dangers of corporate political influence over workers. The speakers will discuss the intertwined relationship between inequality, market concentration, and corporate political clout. The second discussion will feature Roosevelt Institute Campus Network Director Nehemiah Rolle, discussing Hertel-Fernandez’s campus network background, the need for a new generation of progressive policy researchers and advocates, and the current deficit of organizational infrastructure dedicated to nurturing and amplifying these voices.


Alexander Hertel-Fernandez is Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He studies the political economy of the United States, with an emphasis on the politics of organized interests, especially business and labor, and public policy. His first book, Politics at Work (Oxford University Press), examines how employers are increasingly recruiting their workers into politics to change elections and public policy and why Americans should care. He is currently finishing a second book manuscript, entitled State Capture: How Big Businesses, Conservative Activists, and Wealthy Donors Reshaped the American States -- and the Nation.
Other projects examine the role that legislative staffers play in Congress, the activities of elite donors in American politics, and possibilities for new forms of labor organization. Hertel-Fernandez’s academic work has been published in journals such as the Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, the Journal of Politics, and Perspectives on Politics, and has been featured in a range of popular outlets, including the American Prospect, Democracy Journal, the Economist, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the New Yorker, and the Washington Post.

K. Sabeel Rahman is the President of Demos, a public policy organization working for an America where we all have an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy. He is also an Associate Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School and the author most recently of Democracy Against Domination (Oxford University Press, 2017). His academic research focuses on issues of democracy, economic power, law, and inequality. He has worked extensively with a range of think tanks, advocacy organizations, and foundations to develop novel approaches to addressing these issues in practice. His popular writings have appeared in venues like The Atlantic, The New Republic, The Boston Review, Dissent, and The Washington Post. He earned his law degree and doctorate at Harvard University, and his Masters degrees at the University of Oxford where he was a Rhodes Scholar.