Book ReviewSymposiumThe Corporation, Law and Capitalism

Of law(s) and capitalism(s)

The thrive for corporate accountability has given rise to some of the most vivid legal developments since the post-war era. In a liberal logic and from the vantage point of the rule of law, these have generally been championed. Pioneering cases against industrialists in the Nuremberg war criminal trials, a surge of civil liability claims brought against lead firms in the Global North, the recent openness of the European Commission …

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Book ReviewSymposiumThe Corporation, Law and Capitalism

Legal form(s) beyond capitalism?

The Corporation, Law and Capitalism is an important book. With a historical-materialist focus on the legal configuration of the corporation as a legal entity, Grietje Baars shows in an exemplary way the role of law in the shaping of capitalism. As their starting point, Baars refers to a historical materialism based on the authors Pashukanis and Miéville. Accordingly, Baars assumes that property is the raison d’etre of law (p. 19). …

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Book ReviewSymposiumThe Corporation, Law and Capitalism

Rechtsform(en) jenseits des Kapitalismus?

The Corporation, Law and Capitalism ist ein wichtiges Buch. Mit einem historisch-materialistischen Fokus auf die rechtliche Konfigurierung des Unternehmens als Rechtsperson zeigt Grietje Baars exemplarisch die Rolle des Rechts für die Ausgestaltung des Kapitalismus. In ihrem Ausgangspunkt bezieht sich Baars dabei auf einen historischen Materialismus gestützt auf die Autoren Pashukanis und Miéville. Dementsprechend geht Baars davon aus, dass das Eigentum raison d’etre des Rechts sei (S. 19). Eigentum sei als …

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Book ReviewSymposiumThe Corporation, Law and Capitalism

Seeking corporate accountability for human rights

Concealment and congealment in international law

The Corporation, Law and Capitalism provided a fantastically refreshing (if a little depressing) counter-narrative of international (criminal) law’s intimate relationship with capital, and the paradoxical effect this has on attempts to hold corporations accountable for their actions. In the field of business and human rights (BHR), we try to utilise law (in its various forms) as a tool to ensure justice for rightsholders who have been negatively affected by corporate …

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Book ReviewSymposiumThe Corporation, Law and Capitalism

Working toward the world we want to live in

Introducing the book symposium on Grietje Baars’ “The Corporation, Law and Capitalism: A Radical Perspective on the Role of Law in the Global Political Economy”

Grietje Baars’ recently published book The Corporation, Law and Capitalism is a powerful intervention on multiple accounts. Baars’ study spearheads and complements a newly revived Marxist legal tradition in the footsteps of Soviet legal theorist Evgeny Pashukanis, whose work on “The General Theory of Law and Marxism” (1924) pioneered the commodity-form theory of law. Pashukanis’ main argument is that the commodity form and the legal form follow the same logic, …

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Book ReviewResponse

Global information governance in pandemic times

In the geopolitics of global health information, international institutional law is more important than ever

The main argument of my book, which we are discussing in this symposium, is that international institutions are not only diplomatic fora, lawmakers or financiers, but also act and govern through information, knowledge and expertise. Their informational activities are governed by a body of law that strikes an uneasy balance between international cooperation, state sovereignty and individual rights. This balance is becoming all the more salient in times of a …

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Book ReviewKick-off

Governing the world through information (law)

Knowledge is power – power is knowledge. While this nexus certainly is a commonplace in the critical sociology of knowledge, it may actually never have been more topical than today. With the dramatic increase of (digital) communicative interactions within and beyond national boundaries, ‘information’ has become available in an absolute inflationary manner. This is also reflected in everyday discourse: The German Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache (Association for the German Language) …

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Book ReviewKick-off

In search for principles

The global governance of information

This post opens the book symposium on Michael Riegner’s “The International Institutional Law of Information” (Mohr Siebeck 2017; original German title: Informationsverwaltungsrecht internationaler Institutionen). It will be followed by a text of Hendrik Simon and a response by the author. Michael Riegner’s book was written under the supervision of Phillip Dann at the Humboldt University of Berlin. It examines the phenomenon that international institutions are also acting under the conditions and possibilities of …

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Book ReviewResponse

The “pseudo doctrine”, still a real problem

In her post “The ‘pseudo doctrine’ – a pseudo problem?” Raffaela Kunz reviews my thesis “Das Scheininstitut der unmittelbaren Anwendbarkeit“. Her friendly and well written review raises a few questions, so I am most happy to have the chance for a response. In general Kunz follows my line of arguments but she raises some conceptual doubts and moreover questions the relevance of the abolishment of the pseudo-doctrine of direct applicability …

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Book Review

The „pseudo doctrine“ – a pseudo problem?

On the (ir-)relevance of the doctrine of self-executing treaties for the domestic effect of international law

The question of the “self-executingness” or “direct applicability” of international law is in fact a question of domestic law, but still almost all textbooks on international law address it. The reason for this lies in the treatment of “self-executingness” by many domestic courts as a precondition for the application of international law in their proceedings. In other words, the doctrine is said to determine to a great extent the effects …

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