Multinationals and the Constitutionalization of the World Power System: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Multinationals and the Constitutionalization of the World Power System

1st Edition

Edited by Jean-Philippe Robé, Antoine Lyon-Caen, Stéphane Vernac


246 pages

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This collection offers a powerful and coherent study of the transformation of the multinational enterprise as both an object and subject of law within and beyond States. The study develops an analysis of the large firm as being a system of organization exercising vast powers through various instruments of private law, such as property rights, contracts and corporations.

The volume focuses on the firm as the operational unit of governance within emerging systems of globalization, whilst exploring in-depth the forms within which the firm might be regulated as against the inhibiting parameters of national law. It connects, through the ordering concept of the firm in globalization, the distinct regimes of constitutionalization, national and international law.

The study will be of interest to students and academics in globalization and the regulation of multinational corporations, as well as law, economics and politics on a global scale. It will also interest government leaders and NGOs working in the areas of MNE regulations.


‘Building on a legal pluralist theoretical framework, this study makes a stimulating contribution to the growing body of scholarship dedicated to the private international legal dimension of global governance through its focus on the multinational firm as a power system interacting with a characteristically complex and reflexive regulatory environment.’

Horatia Muir Watt, Sciences-Po, France

Table of Contents

Foreword: constitutionalization and the regulation of transnational firms, John Gerard Ruggie;

Introduction, Jean-Philippe Robé, Antoine Lyon-Caen and Stéphane Vernac.

Part I Firms and Power: Globalization and constitutionalization of the world-power system, Jean-Philippe Robé;

Constitutionalizing financial power: the corporation and the new aristocracy of finance, Paddy Ireland;

Corporate power in the global economy: an evolutionary perspective, Ronen Palan;

Powers and responsibilities in multi-member organizations, Elsa Peskine and Stéphane Vernac.

Part II The Concept of Constitutionalization: Reflections on the constitutionalization of the world power system, Gunther Teubner;

Law in the global age: heading toward a societal constitutionalism, Jean De Munck;

Constitutionalization outside of the state? A constitutionalist's point of view, Véronique Champeil-Desplat;

The concept of constitutionalization and the multi-corporate enterprise in the 21st century - the body corporate from incarnation to ensoulment to ministry (but whose?), Larry Catá Backer.

Part III The Concept of Constitutionalization Applied to the Firm: Human rights and the constitutionalized corporation, Sheldon Leader;

The responsibility of multinational enterprises: a constitutionalization process in action, Antoine Lyon-Caen and Tatiana Sachs;

‘Constitutionalization’ and the status of the director: the test of ‘say on pay’, Charley Hannoun;

Can states regain fiscal sovereignty over globalized business?, Christian Chavagneux.



About the Editors

Jean-Philippe Robé is a French and New York qualified partner in the Paris office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and a specialist in International Business Law. He teaches Globalization and Legal Pluralism at Sciences Po, Paris. He has published widely and has given numerous lectures on enterprise law and corporate governance. In 2016 he was awarded the prestigious Prix du Cercle Montesquieu for his book `Le temps du monde de l’entreprise – Globalisation et mutation du système juridique’.

Antoine Lyon-Caen is Professor of Law at the University of Paris West Nanterre La Défense. He recently rejoined the Board of Lyon-Caen & Thiriez, solicitors to the State Council and Court of Cassation, France. He is the author of many legal publications.

Stéphane Vernac lectures in Law at the University of Picardie Jules Verne, France. He is the author of publications on the relationship between labour law and company law and on the regulation of private organizations.

About the Series

Globalization: Law and Policy

Globalization: Law and Policy
Globalization: Law and Policy builds an integrated body of scholarship that critically addresses key issues and theoretical debates in comparative and transnational law. Volumes in the series focus on the consequential effects of globalization, including emerging frameworks and processes for the internationalization, legal harmonization, juridification, and democratization of law among increasingly connected political, economic, religious, cultural, ethnic, and other functionally differentiated governance communities. Legal systems, their harmonization and incorporation in other governance orders, and their relationship to globalization are taking on new importance within a coordinated network of domestic legal orders, the legal orders of groups of states, and the governance frameworks of non-state actors. These legal orders engage a number of important actors, sources, principles, and tribunals”including multinational corporations as governance entities, contract and surveillance as forms of governance that substitute for traditional law, sovereign wealth funds and other new forms of state activity, hybrid supra national entities like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and international tribunals with autonomous jurisdiction, including the International Criminal Court, the World Trade Organization, and regional human rights courts. The effects have been profound, especially with respect to the role of states, and especially of the United States as its long time position in global affairs undergoes significant change. Comparative and transnational law serve as natural nexus points for vigorous and sometimes interdisciplinary approaches to the study of state and non-state law systems, along with their linkages and interactions. The series is intended as a resource for scholars, students, policy makers, and civil society actors, and includes a balance of theoretical and policy studies in single-authored volumes and collections of original essays.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General