Book Review: Contractarians, Communitarians and Agnostics

Alan E. Garfield

Widener University - School of Law


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

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Date posted: October 22, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Garfield, Alan E., Book Review: Contractarians, Communitarians and Agnostics (1995). American Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 43, 1995. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1694198

Contact Information

Alan E. Garfield (Contact Author)
Widener University - School of Law ( email )
4601 Concord Pike
P.O. Box 7286
Wilmington, DE 19803-0474
United States
HOME PAGE: http://law.widener.edu
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