Community and Statism: A Conservative Contractarian Critique of Progressive Corporate Law Scholarship
Stephen M. Bainbridge
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law
This essay is nominally a review of Progressive Corporate Law (Lawrence E. Mitchell ed. 1995). However, it uses the book principally as a jumping off point for a critique of the strain of left communitarianism that has recently emerged in corporate law scholarship. The essay begins with a review of left communitarian critique of the nexus of contracts model of the firm and of rational choice. Because the arguments on both sides are well-developed in the literature, the essay focuses on the specific spin given the debate by Progressive Corporate Law's authors. The remainder of the essay is devoted to exploring the emerging communitarian theory of the firm. In the course of doing so, however, I also begin developing an explicitly conservative version of the law & economics account of corporate law. The essay looks to the intellectual tradition that runs from Edmund Burke to Russell Kirk to articulate an alternative to both the left communitarianism of progressive corporate law scholars and the classical liberalism embraced by many practitioners of law and economics.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 59
JEL Classification: G38, K22
Date posted: June 27, 2001
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