SGEL lecture by Doreen Lustig (Tel Aviv University)
Datum en tijd:
28 maart 2020 09:30 - 11:00 uur
Universiteit van Amsterdam
In her lecture Doreen Lustig (Tel Aviv University) presents a historical study of the international law of the private business corporation. This book challenges the narrative of the failure to regulate corporations.and presents an alternative historical reading: a history of its facilitative role in constituting an economic order.
This lecture is based on a book with the same title (forthcoming at OUP, April 2020). In her book Lustig presents a historical study of the international law of the private business corporation. The literature on corporations and international law typically concentrates on the failure to regulate corporations. This book challenges this ‘failure’ narrative and presents an alternative historical reading: a history of its facilitative role in constituting an economic order.
This study draws inspiration from scholarship on the history of international trade law, international investment law, the history of global governance, and political economic analysis of international law, and connects these specialized fields in a single lens: the corporate form. The point of departure for this history is the simultaneous emergence of international law as a modern legal discipline and the turn to free incorporation in corporate law during the last third of the nineteenth century. The book demonstrates how the sovereign veil of the state and the corporate veil of the company were applied in tandem to insulate corporations from responsibility. Nevertheless, less powerful states invoked the same prevailing conceptions of the corporation, the sovereign state, and the relation between them, to curtail corporate power in struggles associated with decolonization. Reacting to these early victories, capital exporting countries shifted to a vocabulary of human rights and protected companies under a new regime of international investment law, which entrenched the separation between market and politics.