The New Geographies of Corporate Governance
105 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2020 Last revised: 10 Dec 2020
Date Written: April 13, 2020
Today, the business corporation is ubiquitous. Incorporated according to local and national laws, it exists and functions in an almost borderless physical and digital space that regulators find hard to penetrate. As a global actor of enormous economic and political weight, the corporation is both immersed in and shaped by borderless financial flows. In response, over the past few decades, corporate governance has continued to evolve as a complex assemblage of laws, regulations, guidelines, standards, and corporate self-regulation. But, given the corporation’s powerful position in society, corporate governance is no longer perceived to only concern relationships between managers and investors, but to also encompass a much wider range of the firm’s stakeholders, including employees, contractors, suppliers, communities and the environment. In light of these developments, this Article focuses on corporate governance as a transnational field of regulatory norm production, policymaking and political contestation. With the corporation itself as the key organizational and financial vehicle for global markets, questions regarding political, democratic engagement with the corporation continue to produce frustrating answers. In our Article, we develop an analysis that combines a historical, sociological, and political economy investigation into how the corporation has been governed by law over time. The research featured in this Article reveals a significant proliferation, nationally and transnationally, of norm producers in and around the corporation, offering important insights into the relationship between markets and political governance, and into the way in which, going forward, we might rethink existing notions of public and private authority, accountability, and responsibility.
Keywords: Corporate Governance; financialization; privatization; public-private law making; transnational corporations; shareholder value maximization; corporate social responsibility; business & human rights; private power; disclosure; directors’ duties; due diligence; climate change and sustainability; stew
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