Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



This Article examines the role of corporate law in promoting sustainable peace. The Author argues that corporate legal theory can make a distinctive contribution to a more peaceful world by exposing some deeper roots of corporate law doctrines. Beginning with a brief overview of the corporation in legal discourse, the Article addresses the corporation as property, person, contract, and community. Next, the Article explores the significance of legal language, detailing the ways the law, through language, constructs and impacts the "character," "culture," and "community" of society. The Article then analyzes the dominance that the property and contract conceptions of the corporation demonstrate over the person and community notions of the corporate entity. Using a specific case as an illustration of how basic understandings of the corporate entity affect the sense of corporate responsibility for corporate harms, the Author focuses on how the contract and property notions overwhelm the community notion of the corporation. Finally, the Article concludes that the person and community notions of the corporation offer the better prospects for the goal of sustainable peace by enlarging the sense of corporate responsibility for harms associated with corporate undertakings.