Corporate Law Versus Social Autonomy: Law as Social Hazard

Law and Critique, 2020

DOI: 10.1007/s10978-020-09267-7

Posted: 19 Jun 2020

See all articles by Michael Galanis

Michael Galanis

University of Manchester; University of Manchester - School of Law

Date Written: May 26, 2020


This article argues that corporate law has become the legal platform upon which is erected a social process impeding society’s capacity to lucidly reflect on its primary ends; in this sense, corporate law is in conflict with social autonomy. This process is described here as a social feedback loop, in the structural center of which lies the corporation which imposes its own purpose as an irrational social end, i.e. irrespective of its potentially catastrophic social consequences. The article argues that resolving the conflict between corporate law and social autonomy is impossible, because it presupposes a change of social paradigm towards one where corporate law as business organisation law has no obvious fit. This questions the social legitimacy of corporate law, signifies its non-permanence and thus opens up the field for seeking radical alternatives in the future.

Keywords: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Corporate Law, Managerial-ism, Social Autonomy

Suggested Citation

Galanis, Michael and Galanis, Michael, Corporate Law Versus Social Autonomy: Law as Social Hazard (May 26, 2020). Law and Critique, 2020, DOI: 10.1007/s10978-020-09267-7, Available at SSRN:

Michael Galanis (Contact Author)

University of Manchester - School of Law ( email )

United Kingdom

University of Manchester ( email )

Oxford Road
Manchester, M13 9PL
United Kingdom

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