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The Business Corporation as a Political Actor


8 December 2021
10:00 - 12:00

Online seminar on Jean-Philippe Robé’s Property, Power and Politics

Globalization is an extraordinary phenomenon affecting virtually everything in our lives. Jean-Philippe Robé’s newest book Property, Power and Politics (2020) is the first description of its operation as a Power System feeding from, and in competition with, the State System.  The understanding of the inner operation of globalization is essential to put us in a position to address most of the issues of our time. 

This book provides a unique description of the operation of economic power in a globalized world.  Having concentrated property rights to an unprecedented extent, multinational enterprises are now global political powers with global reach but without the corresponding responsibilities.  Multinational enterprises are not private organizations owned by individuals entitled to operate them without any constraints.  They are world political organizations wielding power.  Their factual existence is forcing us to think anew the ideas of individual autonomy and of democracy in a world political system which is bypassing the States and their political institutions.  No serious political action to address the issues of our time, such as climate change, growing world inequality, and challenges to democratic institutions, can be undertaken without an understating of the real operation of the World Power System.   

Dr. Jean-Philippe Robé
Jean-Philippe Robé is a practicing attorney and a legal scholar. He is a member of the New York and Paris bars and teaches at the SciencesPo Law School in Paris. He holds law degrees from the University of Lyon III Law School, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and the European University Institute in Florence. His PhD thesis was written under the supervision of Gunther Teubner and Susan Strange.

Jean-Philippe Robé’s work concentrates on the role of law in the process of globalization and on the impact of globalization on the structure of the legal system. He has given numerous lectures on enterprise law and corporate governance in this specific context. In 2016, he was awarded the Prix du Cercle Montesquieu (the largest French association of General Counsels) for his book Le temps du monde de l’entreprise – Gobalisation et mutation du système juridique. He is one of the 14 members of the Informal Expert Group on Company Law and Corporate Governance (ICLEG) advising the European Commission on these issues. His latest book Property, Power and Politics – Why We Need to Rethink The World Power-System was released in 2020 by Bristol University Press. It has been praised as “uniquely integrating the dynamics of state sovereignty, corporate globalization, property rights, and public as well as private law, to illuminate the workings of a multidimensional world power system that needs to be understood before it can be democratically governed.” (John Gerard Ruggie)