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Reframing Corporate Governance

Company Law Beyond Law and Economics

Javier Reyes

This stimulating book offers an astute analysis of corporate governance from both a historical and a philosophical point of view. Exploring how the modern corporation developed, from Ancient Rome and the Middle Ages up to the present day, Javier Reyes identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the mainstream theory of the firm as put forward by the law and economics school of thought.
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Javier Reyes


Einstein said once:

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day. Never lose a holy curiosity.1

The corporation may not be a mystery of eternity or life, but it is a window into the big questions of human nature – as this book has tried to argue. Contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t Aristotle but F. Scott Fitzgerald who wrote that ‘the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function’.2 At individual level, it is hard to live in contradiction for a long period of time. However, in the pursuit of knowledge one has to make contrasts and dig deep into different perspectives. And at a societal level, particularly in academia, the practice of diversity of thought must be a constant.

The modern corporation is a magnificent challenge both at a practical and a theoretical level. Just as occurs with most formidable fruits of human ingenuity, the corporation cuts both ways, i.e. it has been (and remains) a force for unprecedented good but also a devastating juggernaut. As analyzed in Chapter 5, the corporate form has played...

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