Book Review: Contractarians, Communitarians and Agnostics
Alan E. Garfield
Widener University - Delaware Law School
American Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 43, 1995
This is a review of the Special Issue on the Corporate Stakeholder Debate: The Classical Theory and Its Critics, 43 AM. J. COMP. L. 150 (1995). While I find all of the contributions to the symposium thoughtful and provocative, I ultimately found the arguments weakened by their lack of empirical support. For so many of the questions posed in the symposium, the empirical data needed to furnish answers was either absent or conflicting. This deficiency left the articles seeming artificial: elegant theories floating without an anchor. I finished the symposium neither a converted contractarian nor communitarian, but an agnostic – feeling confident that, if nothing else, there is simply too much we don’t know, and that the choice in the stakeholder debate is less about which theory is right, and more about which values one brings to the debate.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21
Keywords: corporation law, corporate stakeholder
JEL Classification: K22
Date posted: October 22, 2010
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