Academic journal article McGill Law Journal

Thesis Survey

Academic journal article McGill Law Journal

Thesis Survey

Article excerpt

I. Doctoral Theses / Theses de doctorat

Boniface Ahunwan, Globalisation and Corporate Governance in Developing Countries (A Micro Analysis of Global Corporate Interconnection between Developing African Countries and Developed Countries), Osgoode Hall Law School.

Globalisation denotes economic liberalisation and deregulation, the intensification of international economic relations and interdependence, and changes in the mode of production and the nature and exercise of state powers. In this context, business corporations also implement global corporate structures and strategies such as cross-border sales and listing of securities, and cross-border mergers and takeovers.

This thesis examines corporate governance in developing African countries, using Nigeria and Ghana as case studies, in the broader context of these modern global economic, social and political changes and global corporate structures and strategies. In the context of an unsettled debate on the future of global corporate governance: whether national corporate governance systems would be path-dependent or driven purely by economic efficiency, I argue:

   the shape and structure of corporate governance in many African
   countries such as Nigeria have been largely influenced by their
   historical starting points, colonisation. Modern reforms based on
   economic efficiency have only solidified the existing structures
   and practices. With a dominant path-dependent influence, economic
   efficiency is also exerting pressure, limited by an unfavourable
   macroeconomic context. Future corporate governance will be a
   hybrid based predominantly on existing structures--the inherited
   British structure--modified by global influences and the
   macro-economic environment.

I further argue that globalisation has effects on corporate governance other than convergence or divergence, path dependence or economic efficiency of governance systems that contemporary literature canvasses. Global corporate interconnection has created new problems of corporate governance for developing countries and developed countries as well:

a. in corporate inter-connection through cross-border sales and listings of securities, mergers and takeovers, corporate governance problems in one country are transferred to another;

b. global corporate interconnection is in fact ushering in an international system of corporate control through the global capital market and global product market responses to corporate activities;

c. the international capital market has several dysfunctions, as it is influenced by the macro-economic and political context of developing countries rather than the strength of the management of their corporations. Therefore, the international capital market as a mechanism of corporate control is defective because it is not so much a discipline on corporate abuse but a discipline on the macro-economic and political underdevelopment of these countries.

Gavin W. Anderson, Unthinking Constitutional Law: Towards a Legal Pluralist Theory of Constitutionalism, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto.

The challenges of neo-liberal economic globalisation and legal pluralism provide the present context for the study of constitutional law. Part I details the shifting location of political authority, under the rubric of the 'Washington consensus,' from the nation-state to the global economy in general, and to multinational corporations in particular. The rise of global corporate power threatens democracy in two ways; first, procedurally, by reducing the scope for influencing political decisions, and second, substantively, by exacerbating material inequality. Contemporary constitutional normative debate proposes that rights constitutionalism be remade in two ways to respond to hegemonic globalisation: first by extending the reach of rights to private bodies, and second, by expanding the scope of rights to impose positive constitutional duties in the private sphere. …

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