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Introduction

A Survey of Legal and Regulatory Trends

P. M. Vasudev and Susan Watson

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Introduction

A Law and Economics Perspective

Wenming Xu, Stefan E. Weishaar and Niels Philipsen

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Implications of shareholder activism

A Survey of Legal and Regulatory Trends

Anita Anand

This chapter asserts that shareholder democracy, or the ability of shareholders to influence the corporation through their vote, underpins the legitimacy of shareholder activism. Examining the empirical literature that evidences the benefits of shareholder activism, the chapter argues in favour of increased shareholder representation in director nominations by proxy, not only for the sake of shareholder democracy, but also for the overall benefit of the corporation. Keywords: • Shareholder activism • Hedge fund activism • Shareholder democracy • Director primacy • Proxy access • Canada Business Corporations Act

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Alfons Bora

This chapter introduces in depth the scientific models and theories which have captured the idea of “shaping society” with their conceptual language. These scientific models are analysed from the perspective of the sociology of knowledge. The underlying intuition is that a deeper understanding of the respective semantics will also improve our comprehension of the social structures in the field. The semantics of governance captures a widespread contemporary description of the exercise of power and its legitimation. Governance is understood as a form of statehood mainly characterized by negotiation and co-operation, in contrast to hierarchical steering, rule-making, enforcement and sanctioning. To a certain extent, governance has turned the scales against the more traditional concepts of law and regulation, which bear some connotations of the nineteenth and twentieth century nation-state and have allegedly become rather outdated models of societal organization. Contrary to this widespread intuition within the governance debate, the chapter demonstrates that the perspective of law and regulation is still fruitful for conceptualizing the relation between the different fields and subsystems of modern society. While governance indeed expanded the analytical realm towards new instruments of control and the new actors involved in decision-making, it did so all the while preserving and even strengthening the idea of controlling and powerfully shaping societal conditions. The chapter therefore suggests recollecting the functional nucleus of “governance” within the terminology of “regulation”. Such a nucleus places particular emphasis on the “ruling part” of governance semantics which (a) remains deeply concerned with questions of exercising influence and (b) feeds to a large extent on legal sources.

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Bridget M. Hutter

This chapter outlines some of the most prominent environmental issues we face, including changes in our understandings of environmental risks, uncertainties and damage and the inequalities attaching to them. It discusses strategies for managing these risks, focusing in particular on risk and resilience perspectives and the ways in which they relate to environmental law. The chapter introduces the organisation of the book around major themes such as variable perspectives on risk regulation; the compatibility of law with notions of risk and resilience; transnational efforts to manage environmental risks; and the difficulties associated with managing inequalities within and between countries. It concludes with an introduction to some of the emerging governance issues generated by these debates.

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References

New Modes of Shaping Social Change?

Edited by Regine Paul, Marc Mölders, Alfons Bora, Michael Huber and Peter Münte

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Preface

New Modes of Shaping Social Change?

Alfons Bora and Michael Huber

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Edited by Bridget M. Hutter

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Regine Paul and Marc Mölders

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Paul Verbruggen and Tetty Havinga