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Shareholder Engagement in the Embedded Business Corporation: Investment Activism, Human Rights and TWAIL Discourse


Aaron A. Dhir


Osgoode Hall Law School ; Yale Law School

June 8, 2009

Osgoode CLPE Research Paper No. #12/2009

Abstract:     
The expansion of Canadian extractive corporations' overseas business operations has led to serious concerns regarding human rights-related impacts. As these apprehensions grow, we see a countervailing rise in calls for government intervention and in levels of socially conscious shareholder advocacy. I focus on the latter as manifested in recent use of the shareholder proposal mechanism found in Canadian corporate law. Shareholder proposals, while under-theorized, provide a valuable lens through which to consider the argument that economic behaviour is embedded within social relations. In doing so, I situate my analysis within Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) scholarship. Elsewhere, I have supported the use of corporate law tools in advancing the international human rights enterprise and argued that investment activism can be an essential component of this advancement. This paper represents a reflexive pause. I seek to problematize the shareholder proposal as a human rights advocacy tool and to examine it as a site of contestation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 22

Keywords: Corporate law, shareholder rights, corporate accountability, Third World Approaches to International Law

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Date posted: June 10, 2009 ; Last revised: April 12, 2011

Suggested Citation

Dhir, Aaron A., Shareholder Engagement in the Embedded Business Corporation: Investment Activism, Human Rights and TWAIL Discourse (June 8, 2009). Osgoode CLPE Research Paper No. #12/2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1416198 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1416198

Contact Information

Aaron A. Dhir (Contact Author)
Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada
(416) 736-5224 (Phone)
(416) 736-5736 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/faculty-and-staff/dhir-aaron-a/
Yale Law School ( email )
P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
(203) 432-8294 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.yale.edu/faculty/ADhir.htm
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