Book ReviewSymposiumThe Corporation, Law and Capitalism

Perfect pandemic reading

I am very excited about my book being discussed in the Völkerrechtsblog and grateful to Michael Bader for organising it, and for the six readers taking their time to dip into my 500-page tome. I hope I can do some justice to the reviews in these few words, and for the questions or comments not addressed, I hope the opportunity arises for a face to face discussion, over a beer …

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Book ReviewSymposiumThe Corporation, Law and Capitalism

Between utopia and affirmation of the status quo

For someone who has been working in the field of so-called strategic litigation against multinational corporations in international (criminal) law and other fields of national law for more than a decade, it is obvious that law often enough benefits the interests of the economically and politically powerful. Still, legal interventions can very well serve as a tool of resistance for communities affected by corporate abuse. Beyond resistance, there is a …

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Book ReviewSymposiumThe Corporation, Law and Capitalism

Internationales Recht und kapitalistische Verwertungslogik

Zur politischen Ökonomie der Unternehmensverantwortung

The Corporation, Law and Capitalism: A Radical Perspective on the Role of Law in the Global Political Economy ist ein lautes Buch. Die Autor*in verspricht, auf “radikale” Weise unseren Blick auf das Verhältnis von Wirtschaft, Unternehmen und der Entwicklung des Internationalen Rechts zu verändern; neue Kritik vorzutragen, die sich unter anderem auf bisher ungesichtetes Archivmaterial stützt. Vielleicht bedarf es einer derartigen Ansage, um im ohrenbetäubenden Rauschen des “Corporate Accountability” und …

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Book ReviewSymposiumThe Corporation, Law and Capitalism

International law and capitalist logic of exploitation

On the political economy of corporate responsibility

The Corporation, Law and Capitalism: A Radical Perspective on the Role of Law in the Global Political Economy is a loud book. The author promises to “radically” change our view of the relationship between the economy, business, and the development of international law; to present new critique based, among other things, on previously unseen archive material. Perhaps such an announcement is needed to be heard in the deafening noise of …

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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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Current Developments

The right to benefit from Big Data progress

Another argument for Universal Basic Income

Recent developments in the United States and Europe have focused attention on the possible obligation of Big Data-powered technology companies like Google and Facebook to share some of their corporate profits to users of their service. During the US Democratic Party presidential debates leading to the 2020 elections, candidate Andrew Yang, a proponent of a Universal Basic Income scheme for the US, argued that every American should get a check …

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