Document Type


Publication Date



“Good governance” has increasingly become political-economic common sense — often articulated in the call for transparency and accountability. But the question is: transparency and accountability to whom and toward what end? This essay examines the normalization of “good governance,” particularly as it is expressed as a financial discourse of corporate governance that gives primacy to the maximization of “shareholder value” and the promotion of “investor confidence” in the capital markets. I argue that this global discourse privileges institutional investors who are empowered to hold all stakeholders accountable to market expectations and valuations. While the discourse is clearly not socially neutral, it often remains unchallenged — misrecognized as disinterested and even scientific. Thus, one step toward democratizing relations of accountability in the contemporary global political economy is to make visible what are often invisible and taken-for-granted processes of financial regularization.