Professor Christopher Bruner, the Stembler Family Distinguished Professor in Business Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, recently presented “The Corporation as Technology: Re-Calibrating Corporate Governance for a Sustainable Future” to the International Monetary Fund, a 75-year-old organization of 189 countries that, operating within the United Nations system, works to “foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.”
Bruner’s online presentation was organized by the IMF Legal Department and moderated by Rhoda Weeks-Brown, Director of the Legal Department and the IMF’s General Counsel. Attendees included staff lawyers and economists from across the IMF.
His talk was based on the book that he is currently writing, which is due to be published by Oxford University Press next year.
Professor Christopher Bruner, the Stembler Family Distinguished Professor in Business Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, presented yesterday in Company Law Forum, a video-seminar offered by Research Group Companies, Markets and Sustainability, a unit within the University of Oslo Faculty of Law.
The Research Group described Bruner’s presentation, “Private Power and Public Good: Harnessing the Corporation for a Sustainable Future”, as follows:
The corporate form is widely described, and on some accounts defined, by reference to a core set of purportedly fixed, intrinsic attributes. Such depictions of the corporate form typically reflect strong assumptions about which corporate constituencies should be regarded as internal participants in the corporation, and go hand-in-glove with strong theoretical claims about the corporation’s core utility and corporate law’s correlative content. Christopher Bruner argues, however, that such rigid and static depictions of the corporate form and corporate law have fundamentally misconstrued the nature of the entity, giving rise to a host of corporate pathologies that include excessive risk-taking and cost externalization without regard for environmental and social impacts.
Such hidebound conceptions of the corporation have effectively sacrificed the flexibility and dynamism of the corporate form, thereby obscuring potential governance-related regulatory options that could offer promising solutions to a host of vexing problems. In his new book project, tentatively titled Private Power and Public Good: Harnessing the Corporation for a Sustainable Future, Bruner will re-conceptualize the corporation, not as a fixed and rigid set of legal characteristics but rather as a dynamic legal technology that can be calibrated and re-calibrated in varying contexts, and over time, in response to a dynamic landscape. He will then build upon that framework to explore the corporation’s potential to contribute to environmental, social, and economic sustainability.
Cambridge University Press has just published a handbook co-edited by Professor Christopher Bruner, the Stembler Family Distinguished Professor in Business Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law.
Entitled The Cambridge Handbook of Corporate Law, Corporate Governance and Sustainability, the 700-plus-page book consists of 50 chapters, by 60 contributors from around the world.
Bruner and his co-editor, Professor Beate Sjåfjell of the University of Oslo in Norway, wrote the the introduction and conclusion, which establish the conceptual framing for the project, and each also contributed substantive chapters. Bruner’s is chapter 36, “Leaders or Laggards? Corporate Sustainability In Hong Kong And Singapore.”
The book received some strong endorsements, including from senior officials in the European Commission; the Executive Director of the Aspen Institute’s Business & Society Program; a world-leading climate scientist; and prominent law and business scholars from around the world. It features forewords by Mervyn King, an emeritus professor and judge in South Africa who is a global leader in sustainability-oriented reporting, and Vanderbilt Law Professor Margaret Blair, an economist and co-author of one of the more prominent theories of corporate governance.
The Handbook is available here.
Professor Christopher M. Bruner took part last week in a Norway conference leading to a new Cambridge University Press book he is co-editing.
Bruner, who is J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law at the University of Georgia School of Law and member of our Dean Rusk International Law Center Council, together with his co-editor, University of Oslo Law Professor Beate Sjåfjell, introduced, moderated, and concluded the symposium for the Cambridge Handbook of Corporate Law, Corporate Governance and Sustainability (forthcoming 2019).
Bruner also presented a draft chapter, on Hong Kong and Singapore.
The symposium, which brought together scholars from around the world who were invited to contribute to the Handbook following a competitive call for papers, was held at the University of Oslo Faculty of Law March 12-14.