Research Handbook on Critical Legal Theory
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Research Handbook on Critical Legal Theory

Edited by Emilios Christodoulidis, Ruth Dukes and Marco Goldoni

Critical theory, characteristically linked with the politics of theoretical engagement, covers the manifold of the connections between theory and praxis. This thought-provoking Research Handbook captures the broad range of those connections as far as legal thought is concerned and retains an emphasis both on the politics of theory, and on the notion of theoretical engagement. The first part examines the question of definition and tracks the origins and development of critical legal theory along its European and North American trajectories. The second part looks at the thematic connections between the development of legal theory and other currents of critical thought such as; Feminism, Marxism, Critical Race Theory, varieties of post-modernism, as well as the various ‘turns’ (ethical, aesthetic, political) of critical legal theory. The third and final part explores particular fields of law, addressing the question how the field has been shaped by critical legal theory, or what critical approaches reveal about the field, with the clear focus on opportunities for social transformation.
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Chapter 18: A different kind of ‘end of history’ for corporate law

Lilian Moncrieff

Abstract

The chapter explores the character and significance of the critical legal project in corporate governance. Birth stories for the field typically grant a foundational role to financial economists and to a drive for efficiency that is operationalized as shareholder primacy in company law. But the continued antagonisms presented by corporate projects, alongside a rich tradition of critical company law, suggest the presence of strains within this particular ‘end of history’. Critical legal scholars, taking up these strains, widely insist on the ‘social’ character of productive activities and on the ‘antisocial’ nature of financialised corporate governance. The chapter describes the different approaches to corporate socialisation that stem from this claim, which range from ‘stakeholder’ and ‘commons’ approaches to corporate governance to the rise of ‘regulatory governance’ and ‘reflexive law.’ In the end it finds that a radically different approach to corporate socialisation and also history are required, if a neutering of the critical legal project in an age of surging complexity and ruin is to be avoided.

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