Mapping Public Fiduciary Relationships

The Philosophical Foundations of Fiduciary Law (Andrew Gold & Paul Miller eds., Oxford University Press, 2014), Forthcoming

18 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2013 Last revised: 23 Oct 2013

See all articles by Ethan J. Leib

Ethan J. Leib

Fordham University School of Law

David L. Ponet

United Nations

Michael Serota

Independent

Date Written: September 4, 2013

Abstract

Fiduciary political theorists have neglected to explore sufficiently the difficulty of mapping fiduciary-beneficiary relationships in the public sphere. This oversight is quite surprising given that the proper mapping of fiduciary-beneficiary relationships in the private sphere is one of the most longstanding and strongly contested debates within corporate law. After decades of case law and scholarship directed towards the question of to whom do a corporation’s directors or managers serve as fiduciaries, private law theorists remain deeply divided. This debate within private law should be of perennial interest to public fiduciary theorists because the cartography of public fiduciary relationships is essential to operationalizing the project. After all, it is only through identifying the relevant fiduciary and beneficiary that one is able to determine the precise contours of the fiduciary framework’s ethical architecture. As such, loose mapping of fiduciary-beneficiary relationships in the public sphere precludes a clear understanding of whose interests are pertinent to the public fiduciary’s representation, and what the public fiduciary is to do when beneficiaries’ interests collide. The purpose of this chapter, then, is to explore the central debate in corporate law about fiduciary-beneficiary relationships to help translate fiduciary principles into public law configurations.

Keywords: fiduciary law, political theory, shareholder-stakeholder debate, philosophical foundations of private law

Suggested Citation

Leib, Ethan J. and Ponet, David L. and Serota, Michael Eli, Mapping Public Fiduciary Relationships (September 4, 2013). The Philosophical Foundations of Fiduciary Law (Andrew Gold & Paul Miller eds., Oxford University Press, 2014), Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2320548

Ethan J. Leib (Contact Author)

Fordham University School of Law ( email )

150 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
United States

David L. Ponet

United Nations ( email )

New York, NY 10017
United States

Michael Eli Serota

Independent ( email )

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