Date19 May 2009
Published date19 May 2009
AuthorDana L. Gold
In the Fall of 2006, the Center on Corporations, Law & Society (CCLS) at
Seattle University School of Law, in collaboration with Professor Jack
Kirkwood, co-editor of this Research in Law and Economics book series,
hosted a symposium to explore the relationship between law and economics
principles and the promotion of social justice. CCLS has a robust history
facilitating scholarship about the role corporations and corporate law plays
in promoting, as well as undermining, social, economic, and environmental
justice, having organized numerous conferences with published proceedings
on topics connecting corporate law and governance to health care,
amendment protections,
business ethics,
and diverse progressive social
movements, including environmental activism, worker rights, racial justice,
and electoral democracy.
Given that corporations play such a dominant
role in almost every aspect of society, and given that much of governing
corporate law doctrine and theory derives from neoclassical law and
economics, the theme of the symposium, Law and Economics: Toward Social
Justice, was both natural and fundamental to CCLS’s work. This book-
volume is a collection of the papers accepted for presentation at the
symposium and revised for publication.
We defined the term social justice broadly, reflecting a vision of society
that embraces more than traditional economic efficiency and that includes,
for example, a reduction of subordination and discrimination based on race,
religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or class; increased wealth
dispersion throughout all sectors of society; a safe and healthy environment;
worker rights; and a flourishing political democracy.
The nationally
recognized scholars who enthusiastically participated in this project
contributed relevant and valuable papers that approach from different
perspectives the question of the role economic analysis plays in law as it
relates to this vision of social justice.
The papers in this volume fall into two general categories, though each
can be read (and was written) independent of an organizing framework
within the general topic. The papers in the first category, Economics and
Business Law: Challenges to Social Justice, tease apart some of the presump-
tions undergirding legal theory and doctrine in the business arena.

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