Redefining the Corporation for a Sustainable New Economy

Journal of Law and Society, special issue edited by Bronwen Morgan and Amelia Thorpe, Forthcoming

University of Oslo Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2017-34

Nordic & European Company Law Working Paper No. 16-31

16 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2017 Last revised: 10 Mar 2019

See all articles by Beate Sjåfjell

Beate Sjåfjell

University of Oslo - Faculty of Law; College of Europe - European Legal Studies Department

Date Written: September 25, 2017

Abstract

Business as usual’ is a very certain path towards a very uncertain future. On the ‘business as usual’ trajectory, the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), epitomising the overarching goals of the global society, is unlikely. A fundamental transition away from ‘business as usual’ and onto a sustainable path is necessary. However, the SDGs themselves do not seem to be informed by a recognition of a potential conflict between indefinite economic growth and planetary boundaries. This article posits that this is symptomatic of our economic system. With that backdrop, the article turns to the dominant business form: the corporation, to discuss its significance as a barrier to and potential as a driver for sustainability. Drawing on multijurisdictional, comparative research, the article presents a reform proposal, challenging the shareholder primacy drive, and ending on a positive note on the potential of corporate contribution to systemic change.

Suggested Citation

Sjåfjell, Beate, Redefining the Corporation for a Sustainable New Economy (September 25, 2017). Journal of Law and Society, special issue edited by Bronwen Morgan and Amelia Thorpe, Forthcoming, University of Oslo Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2017-34, Nordic & European Company Law Working Paper No. 16-31, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3042393

Beate Sjåfjell (Contact Author)

University of Oslo - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 6706 St Olavsplass
Oslo, 0130
Norway

HOME PAGE: http://www.jus.uio.no/ifp/english/people/aca/beatesj/

College of Europe - European Legal Studies Department ( email )

Dijver 11
B-8000 Brugge, Oost Vlanderen 10000
Belgium

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