In Public Law and Private Power, John W. Cioffi argues that the highly politicized reform of corporate governance law has reshaped power relations within the public corporation in favor of financial interests, contributed to the profound crises of contemporary capitalism, and eroded its political foundations. Analyzing the origins of pro-shareholder and pro-financial market reforms in the United States and Germany during the past two decades, Cioffi unravels a double paradox: the expansion of law and the regulatory state at the core of the financially driven neoliberal economic model and the surprising role of Center Left parties in championing the interests of shareholders and the financial sector.
Since the early 1990s, changes in law to alter the structure of the corporation and financial marketstwo institutional pillars of modern capitalismhighlight the contentious regulatory politics that reshaped the legal architecture of national corporate governance regimes and thus the distribution of power and wealth among managers, investors, and labor. Center Left parties embraced reforms that strengthened shareholder rights as part of a strategy to cultivate the support of the financial sector, promote market-driven firm-level economic adjustment, and appeal to popular outrage over recurrent corporate financial scandals. The reforms played a role in fostering an increasingly unstable financially driven economic order; their implication in the global financial crisis in turn poses a threat to center-left parties and the legitimacy of contemporary finance capitalism.
About the Author
Table of Contents
1. Corporate Governance Reform and the Age of Finance Capitalism2. Corporate Governance as Juridical Nexus and the Politics of Reform3. Neoliberal Governance and the Neocorporatist Firm: Governance Models in the United States and Germany4. U.S. Corporate Governance Reform: Boom, Bust, and Backlash5. German Corporate Governance Reform: The Limits of Legal Transformation6. Governing the Ruins: The Global Financial Crisis and Corporate GovernanceConclusion: Legal Form and the Politics of Reform
ReferencesCasesStatutes, Regulations, and Regulatory MaterialsIndex