Contemporary Theories in Corporate Law and Corporate Governance - Daughters of Themis Workshop 2021

The theme of the sixth international workshop of Daughters of Themis: International Network of Female Business Scholars, is the highly topical theme of ‘Contemporary Theories in Corporate Law and Corporate Governance’. The aim of the annual workshop is to provide a forum for open, intimate and inspiring discussions with workshop participants selected based on a highly competitive call for papers.

The workshop has been moved from 2020 to 2021 due to Covid19.

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Kea - Photo: Tineke Lamboy

Workshop theme

The global corporate landscape has changed in the wake of financial crises, geopolitical risks, and environmental emergencies that have defined the start of the 21st century. Public calls for greater corporate accountability across a wide range of powerful stakeholders – world leaders, institutional investors, bankers, and even our children – emphasise the need for new and sustaining relationships to secure the social foundation for humanity within planetary boundaries. Traditional corporate law and corporate governance theories underlying scholarship, policy, and industry may have lost their significance.

Dominant theories of the modern corporation underpinning our legal and regulatory frameworks have directly and indirectly influenced how various corporate interests are prioritized and protected. Corporate behaviour to date has been informed by deeply entrenched norms in corporate law and corporate governance. These include social norms contrary to corporate law, notably that the purpose of the corporation is to maximise returns to investors, that the corporation is to be governed in pursuit of that sole objective, and that shareholders are the owners of the corporation. Boards are under increasing pressure to balance conflicting expectations.

These dominant theories form the basis of some of the most contentious historical debates in corporate legal theory, and inform much of the teachings in law and business schools. This underscores the need for a critical analysis of these still pervasive theories, and gives rise to the questions of whether and to what extent they are useful for understanding the dynamic fields of corporate law and corporate governance today, and which alternative or new theories we should consider.

Preparation for the workshop

Workshop spaces are limited to 14 participants so that each participant can benefit from extended discussion of her work. The selection of participants is competitive, based on the quality and thematic fit of the submitted abstract with the workshop theme. The workshop sessions are shaped to ensure interactive discussion, with two commentators per paper. Each participant will accordingly be asked to prepare comments for two other papers.

Timely submission of working papers is a condition for workshop participation. Short working papers of a maximum of 2,500 words including footnotes will be due by 10 May 2020. The word limit for the short working papers is chosen to enable all workshop participants to read all papers in preparation for the workshop, and to give space for developing the themes of the individual papers after the workshop, based on the comments and discussion. The limit for the full-length papers will be 8,000 words including footnotes.

A peer-reviewed joint publication of selected workshop papers is envisaged, after a follow-up workshop in the autumn of 2020. We will therefore only accept original research, which is not submitted for publication elsewhere, and we request that the workshop participants commit to this publication process within a reasonable time line, to be agreed upon at the workshop.

Practical details about the workshop

The workshop will be held on Tuesday 1 June to Friday 4 June 2021 at the Cavo Perlevos guesthouse on the Greek island of Kea, with self-contained studios with a bedroom, kitchen area and bathroom. Kea is reached by ferry from the port of Lavrio (near Athens), and the ferry leaves at 8.30 am in the morning from Lavrio, allowing for a late morning start of the workshop on the Tuesday.

The workshop programme is structured to allow for plenty of individual and collegial social time. For the 2021 workshop, we also offer a pre-workshop social day on Kea on Monday 31 May, for participants who wish to arrive with the Monday morning ferry. As in previous years, Saturday 5 June will be a post-workshop social day, followed by a dinner in Athens that evening for those returning on Sunday 6 June.

Further details about travel and accommodation will be given to the selected participants.  We will set a reasonable self-cost workshop fee to cover accommodation at Cavo Perlevos and lunch and dinner from Tuesday through to Friday.

The network unfortunately has no general funding available for participants. However, we have managed to secure funds to contribute to costs for one or two participants, and those who have submitted financial hardship applications will be notified of the result together with the selection of participants for the workshop.

Organising committee for the 2021 workshop

Professor Beate Sjåfjell, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo

Associate Professor Carol Liao, Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia



Published Jan. 17, 2020 11:23 AM - Last modified Aug. 10, 2020 10:54 AM