Article Information

Trends in Shareholder Activism: 1970-1982
Vogel, David J.
25/3  (Spring 1983): 68-87

The article examines the evolution and the effects of politically oriented shareholder activism, focusing on the years since 1977, and also assesses how it has been affected by changes in business-government relations. Public interest proxy resolutions originated in the social activism of the 1960s and drew their political and ideological strength from the drive for increased public controls over the corporation that dominated the political agenda during much of the 1970s. Their existence and legitimacy were thus closely linked to the relative decline of public support for business that began in the mid-sixties and continued for more than a decade. Since 1977, however, both the public interest movement and organized labor have suffered a series of major political setbacks. The political agenda has since become recaptured by the concerns of business and its supporters. Tax reform has given way before supply side economics, and a concern with corporate social abuses has been replaced by the drive for regulatory reform.

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