Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Eric W. Orts

First Page



This Article addresses the relationship between modern warfare and business corporations. The Article begins by considering the nature of war, emphasizing the effects of globalization and the changing importance of national boundaries. The Article reviews leading theories of war and focuses on how the growth of multinational corporations in economic and political power has begun to rival the power of nation-states. Next, the Article addresses the nature of the business corporation in the context of modern war by surveying standard legal, ethical, and economic understandings of corporate governance. The Article concludes by arguing that the recognition of the moral and political issues of war and peace and their connection to corporate governance requires a qualification of the shareholders-only law-and-economics view of the corporation. Far from an "end of history," contemplating the interactions between business corporations and modern warfare suggests that much work remains to be done to construct the institutions needed to achieve the elusive goal of global peace as well as economic prosperity.