K. Sabeel Rahman

K. Sabeel Rahman teaches administrative and constitutional law at Brooklyn Law School and is a fellow at New America and the Roosevelt Institute. He is the author of Democracy Against Domination.

Recent Articles

Corporate Power and the Unmaking of American Democracy

We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights By Adam Winkler Liveright Corporations and American Democracy By Naomi R. Lamoreaux and William J. Novak, Eds. Harvard University Press This article appears in the Spring 2018 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . With the passage of a massive corporate tax cut, a billionaire’s cabinet in Washington, and rising corporate profits amidst worsening economic inequality and insecurity, the problem of corporate power is justifiably at the forefront of political debate. A pair of new books provide a rich historical context for understanding these tensions between corporate power, democracy, and inequality: legal scholar Adam Winkler’s We the Corporations , and a volume edited by historians Naomi Lamoreaux and William Novak called Corporations and American Democracy . Taken together, these volumes show how corporations have historically leveraged law and public policy to secure far greater...

Up Against Big Tech

The old challenges of concentrated economic and political power now confront us in new forms.

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy By Jonathan Taplin Little, Brown World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech By Franklin Foer Penguin The Captured Economy: How the Powerful Enrich Themselves, Slow Down Growth, and Increase Inequality By Brink Lindsey and Steven Teles Oxford University Press This article appears in the Winter 2018 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . Long the darlings of the digital revolution, Google, Facebook, and Amazon now face growing concern about the power they have acquired over politics, culture, and the economy. With Google and Facebook, the immediate issue in the past year has been their role in spreading fake news. With Amazon, it’s been the online retailing giant’s seemingly relentless march into every consumer market. Three new books suggest that these concerns about Big Tech are indicative of a larger battle over new forms of concentrated...

Challenging the New Curse of Bigness

Most of today’s abuses call for antitrust remedies from the Progressive Era—if we just get serious about enforcement.

AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File
This article appears in the Fall 2016 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . In a January speech on the excessive economic and political power of big finance, Bernie Sanders declared, “If Teddy Roosevelt, the Republican trust-buster were alive today, he would say, ‘Break ’em up.’ And he would be right.” Hillary Clinton invoked the same legacy. “It’s time to take a page from Teddy Roosevelt’s book and get our economy working for Americans again,” Clinton wrote last fall in an op-ed that called for expanded antitrust enforcement to counteract increasing corporate concentration. The abuse of private power was the central concern for progressive reformers a century ago—and the same issues resonate today. From railroads to oil to finance, men like Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John Rockefeller, and J.P. Morgan had centralized control over these core industries. Some used direct corporate ownership;...