Edited by Emilios Christodoulidis, Ruth Dukes and Marco Goldoni
Chapter 18: A different kind of ‘end of history’ for corporate law
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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