Christopher Bruner, the William Donald Bain Family Professor of Corporate Law at Washington and Lee, presented a colloquium for faculty at the University of Colorado Law School on February 10, 2017. Professor Bruner presented his working paper titled “Center-Left Politics and Corporate Governance: What Is the ‘Progressive’ Agenda?”
The aim of Professor Bruner’s paper is to explain a striking disconnect among the U.S. center-left in terms of political preferences regarding corporate governance. While “progressive” scholars and corporate lawyers have generally favored stakeholder-oriented conceptions of the corporation through state corporate law, when the frame of reference shifts to federal contexts, one often finds actors associated with the political left championing expansion of shareholders’ corporate governance powers and favoring shareholder-centric conceptions of corporate decision-making. Professor Bruner’s paper examines the range of political, economic, legal, and market forces that have driven this state/federal divide among the center-left, and explores implications for the future development of U.S. corporate governance.