CALL FOR PAPERS ANNOUNCEMENT:
Inaugural Meeting of the AALS Section on Economic Globalization and Governance
2014 AALS Annual Meeting
Section Meeting: January 3rd, 8:30 am to 10:15 a.m.
New York, New York
After several years of consideration, in August, 2013 the Section on Economic Globalization and Governance (“SEGG”) received approval as a provisional section of the AALS. SEGG is sponsoring a Call for Papers for its program during the AALS 2014 Annual Meeting in New York City. A description of the subject of the Call for Papers appears below.
Comparative Corporate Governance Meets Demands for Greater Diversity:
In Favor of Hard, Soft or No Legal Supports for Enhancing Board Diversity?
The centerpiece of SEGG’s inaugural panel is the legislative and regulatory efforts to promote greater ethnic and gender diversity on corporate boards which have been launched around the world in the past few years. The international drive to enhance board diversity is of paramount importance because board-centric governance remains preeminent in virtually all business entities of substantial scope. Second, globalization has enhanced the breadth and influence of corporate affairs, and hence the power of corporate boards of directors worldwide. Third, the project of enhancing board diversity remains complex and contested, as is evident in the variety of approaches extant, their results, and the myriad opinions surrounding them. For this reason, greater academic attention to this subject is warranted.
Gender-parity laws appear to be achieving particular prominence. Parliaments in Italy, the Netherlands, Iceland and Belgium have enacted gender-based laws recently; Norway’s and Spain’s (very different) quota laws have existed for several years. France adopted a 40% quota law in 2011. Australia adopted a “comply or explain” law effective January, 2012; and last year the UK also endorsed a similar disclosure-based rule. In November 2012 the EU Commission proposed legislation embracing 40% representation of “the under-represented sex” in non-executive board positions by 2020.
Here in the U.S., the SEC now requires public companies to enunciate whether they consider diversity in evaluating board candidates and “how diversity is considered.” Finally, in response to data emerging from a UC Davis study, in August 2013 the California Senate passed a resolution calling for the state’s companies to have more women on their boards. Mirroring this increase in hard and soft regulations to promote diversity, there is greater study of board diversity and its effects in management and law journals and by management consultants. For example, studies by McKinsey, the Conference Board and Catalyst support the value-added of greater board diversity.
Perhaps ironically, alongside this push for greater demographic diversity on boards, there is greater pluralism in conceptualizing the role and functions of corporate directors, consistent with the waning absolutism of shareholder primacy theory. In sum, international interest in corporate governance has never been greater, and it is paralleled by interest in enhancing the demographic diversity of corporate boards. This drive reflects a twin concern for promoting both economic growth (diverse boards may better counter wealth-destroying groupthink and perhaps even excessive managerial agency costs) and also promoting social justice (diverse boards reflect meritocratic values and may bolster more sustainable, socially responsible business practices).
Nevertheless, controversies abound. Will diversity lead to unproductive dissension on boards? Must diversity come at the cost of wealth-enhancing “experience”? Can the disclosure approach achieve meaningful results or are quotas or other substantive requirements warranted? What forms of diversity are most important to achieving particular corporate and social welfare objectives relevant to business? What legal approaches, if any, are optimal for enhancing the kind of board diversity that matters? In what fashion do experiments in enhanced diversity signal evolution in international models of corporate governance? What patterns emerge with clarity from the complex academic studies of board function, and operation – and how do these relate to enhanced calls for more diverse board composition? This inaugural panel of SEGG seeks to address these questions through a discussion incorporating the results from this Call for Papers with expert commentary.
If you are interested in presenting a paper, please submit a summary of no more than three double-spaced pages, by e-mail, on or before Friday, October 25th, 2013. In addition to the summary, you may also submit a complete draft of your paper. Direct your submission and any inquiries about this Call for Papers to:
Professor Faith Stevelman
Professor of Law, New York Law School
Visiting Professor; Director, Center on Law, Business and Entrepreneurship,
University of Washington School of Law
Papers may be accepted for publication but must not be published prior to the Annual Meeting. The Executive Committee of the SEGG will review and select papers for presentation at the program. The authors of the selected paper will be notified in or before Monday, November 11th, 2013; commentators will be selected by the Executive Committee. Call for Papers participants in the Section’s program will be responsible for paying their annual meeting registration fee and travel expenses.
Regrettably, only full-time faculty members of AALS member law schools are eligible to submit papers. Foreign, visiting (without a full-time position at an AALS member law school) and adjunct faculty members; graduate students; fellows and non-law school faculty are not eligible to submit. Faculty members at fee-paid non-member schools are also ineligible.
Suggestions for future SEGG programs may also be directed to the Executive Committee via Professor Stevelman’s email.
SEGG EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, 2013
Chair, Faith Stevelman, Professor, NYLS; Visiting, University of Washington School of Law
David Hunter, Professor, American University, Washington College of Law
Tayyab Mahmoud, Professor, Seattle University School of Law
Geoffrey P. Miller, Professor, NYU Law School
Anita Ramisastry, Professor, University of Washington School of Law
Edward L. Rubin, Professor, Vanderbilt University School of Law