Though it takes many forms around the world, corporate capitalism has triumphed as a system of economic organization. Today, multinational corporations constitute an important class of "non-state actors" with the potential not only to affect the global economy, but to sway domestic politics, influence international relations, and shape global governance. The ubiquity and power of the corporation in modern life raises many novel questions with implications for law, public policy, and governance.
This seminar will explore the corporation as one of the world's most important global actors. Four interrelated topics will be explored in depth: (1) the emergence of state-owned enterprises and state-affiliated investment vehicles in China and elsewhere as major players in the global economy; (2) the "social responsibility" of corporations, including the question whether such responsibilities should differ between corporations from developed and emerging economies; (3) corporate influence on national politics as well as domestic and multinational lawmaking activity; and (4) the corporation as the subject of novel legal claims for human rights abuses, and more broadly, what might be thought of as the "international relations" dimension of transnational corporate activity. Guests with expertise in these topics may join the seminar from time to time