Corporations And Society: Power And Responsibility

Hardcover | May 1, 1987

EditorWarren J. Samuels

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The year 1986 marked the 100th anniversary of one of the Supreme Court's most important decisions, in which it unanimously held that a business corporation was a "person" within the meaning of the Constitution, and thus entitled to constitutional protection. The decision, made almost casually, has had enormous impact on the development of the system of corporate capitalism in the United States. This collection of original essays, written by leading authorities from the fields of economics, law, history and political science, assesses the implications of the Supreme Court ruling from a variety of perspectives. The collected essays provide a thorough evaluation of the role of the corporation, and discusses its obligations, its influence in the policymaking process of government, and its internal structure as a political order.

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The year 1986 marked the 100th anniversary of one of the Supreme Court's most important decisions, in which it unanimously held that a business corporation was a "person" within the meaning of the Constitution, and thus entitled to constitutional protection. The decision, made almost casually, has had enormous impact on the development...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:343 pages, 9.41 × 7.24 × 0.98 inPublished:May 1, 1987Publisher:GREENWOOD PRESS INC.

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0313250723

ISBN - 13:9780313250729

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?An important and valuable collection on the legal basis of corporate power.... The editors and authors (such respected scholars as Arthur S. Miller, Morton Horwitz, and Walter Adams) scrutinize the corporate claim to legal personhood, finding in it not only a crucial expression of the states's role in the organization of economic power, but a major factor behind the corporate ability to evade legal and political responsibility for the consequences of business power. The issue of corporate responsibility benefits from a tightly reasoned legal framework that successfully avoids muddled moralism. In Parts 1 and 2, the more compelling essays examine the history and theory of the corporate personhood doctrine. Essays by Horwitz (on the historical background of the corporation in American law), Michael Barzelay and Rogers M. Smith (a critique of the Chicago law and economics' appraoch), and Samuels (on the social construction and ideological functions of legal language) are especially good. Especially noteworthy are Adams and James W. Brock's critique of the auto industry; Miller's analysis of the big corporations as centerpiece of America's invisible constitution'; and Martin Benjamin and Daniel A. Bronstein's brief but pointed analysis of corporate moral and criminal responsiblity.' An essential text for undergraduate and graduate collections.?-Choice