Community and Statism: A Conservative Contractarian Critique of Progressive Corporate Law Scholarship

59 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2001  

Stephen M. Bainbridge

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Date Written: January 1997

Abstract

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.

JEL Classification: G38, K22

Suggested Citation

Bainbridge, Stephen M., Community and Statism: A Conservative Contractarian Critique of Progressive Corporate Law Scholarship (January 1997). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=10335 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.10335

Stephen Mark Bainbridge (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.professorbainbridge.com

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