The core of Corporate Watch’s work is investigating the companies and systems that are killing our planet and are responsible for exploitation and oppression. Our motto is “information for action”. That means providing accurate and insightful information to help people take action in their struggles.

Some of our research is produced in direct response to requests from groups or individuals: for example they may need information on a particular company, or help mapping a campaign strategy. (See our Need Help? section.) But we also take our own initiative to research areas we think are of crucial importance for social struggles today. On this page you can see the main subject areas we have focused on recently.


Migration and border control have been a focus area for Corporate Watch since 2008. Over the years, much of our migration research has concentrated on the UK detention and deportation systems, and the many companies profiting from these. We have worked closely with grassroots campaigns against detention and deportations, for migrants’ rights, and against ‘border profiteers’ including G4S, Serco, Capita and many lesser known names.

Recently, we have also worked on immigration raids and on the UK government’s new “Hostile Environment” approach, which seeks to make many more companies, as well as charities and individuals, complicit in migration control. One further aim is to provide an overall strategic mapping of the ‘UK Border Regime’, and so help think about how it can be effectively resisted. We have also started to work in partnership with researchers and campaigners outside the UK, including on Calais and on the Mediterranean border regimes.

Prison Industrial Complex

razorwire.jpgThe ‘Prison Industrial Complex’ is a term coined to describe the overlapping interests of government and industry that use surveillance, policing and imprisonment as solutions to economic, social and political problems. The UK currently has the largest prison system of all Western European countries and is home to the most privatised prison system in Europe. Its cultural embrace of surveillance, policing and repressive policies are making it open ground for North American and other companies seeking to exploit the custodial markets in the UK. This capitalist force is now extending to other repressive projects in Europe.

Thousands are criminalised, imprisoned and controlled. Individuals and families are harmed and traumatised while poverty is perpetuated to allow a small minority of people to profit. The Prison Industrial Complex sustains the sexist, racist, colonialist status quo and is a frontier of western capitalism. Our research is focusing on this growing industry in the UK to bring to light the consequences of its existence. This will build towards a larger publication in 2018. We will publish research at intervals on our website. Recent research includes the for-profit run Youth Prison Industry, as well as prison expansion and sentencing reforms.

Other Areas of Research

We respond to research requests from individuals and groups confronting corporate power. This means our research work is broad and varied.

Below is a list of our research areas. Some link to more historical material we have produced. Others contain recent news and research. With more funding we could develop our work further and sustain our research in multiple areas. Please click here to learn how you can support us.