Research Handbooks in Corporate Law and Governance series
Edited by Jennifer G. Hill and Randall S. Thomas
Much of the history of corporate law has concerned itself, not with shareholder power, but rather with its absence. Yet, as this Handbook shows, there have been major shifts in capital market structure that require a reassessment of the role and power of shareholders. The goal of this book is to provide a contemporary analysis of shareholder power and to consider the regulatory consequences of changing ownership patterns around the world. The Handbook addresses these central issues from a range of different perspectives – historical, contemporary, legal, economic, political and comparative. The chapters are written by leading scholars in corporate law, governance and financial economics across several continents. A number of important themes underpin the wide-ranging discussions in this Handbook. Some of the most noteworthy are as follows. The first theme relates to the relevance of context to the issue of shareholder power. As many of the chapters demonstrate, different problems will arise in the context of dispersed ownership compared to a blockholder ownership context, and these problems arguably require different and nuanced regulatory solutions. Context also matters in relation to the identity and role of shareholders within the corporate enterprise. A second major theme in the book involves the dichotomy between shareholder protection and shareholder participation in corporate governance. While traditional corporate law focused on the former, the rise of shareholder power has opened the doors to greater shareholder engagement and activism.