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3 - The Corporation and the EU Social Market Economy

A Renewed Commitment

from Part I - The Objectives of the EU’s Social Market Economy Revisited

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 December 2022

Beate Sjåfjell
Affiliation:
University of Oslo
Georgina Tsagas
Affiliation:
Brunel University London
Charlotte Villiers
Affiliation:
University of Bristol
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Summary

The US is often placed within a liberal-utilitarian model and the EU is often positioned within a social model. In corporate law theory, this distinction is presented as contractarianism versus communitarianism. The latter has traditionally represented the EU’s approach to corporate regulation, while the former represents the US approach. Rather than adhere to such neat divisions and other binary choices such as regulatory models versus voluntarist models such as the corporate social responsibility model, this chapter argues that the true resolution of difficulties associated with capitalism lies in the development of a new theoretical framework driven by an ethical challenge to those acting behind the corporate veil or under its shadow. This chapter exhorts that if we move on from binary divisions and present a meaningful ethical challenge to corporate actors such as shareholders and management, we can ensure better outcomes.

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Chapter
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Sustainable Value Creation in the European Union
Towards Pathways to a Sustainable Future through Crises
, pp. 58 - 86
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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