The emerging field of corporate law, corporate governance and sustainability represents one of the most dynamic and significant areas of law in light of the convergence of crises that we as a global society face. The Cambridge Handbook of Corporate Law, Corporate Governance and Sustainability will present the state-of-the-art of this emerging field, offering a vital contribution to this new area and a natural point of reference for further contributions.

There is an urgent need for this Handbook. While management literature long has discussed what we may denote as corporate sustainability, the approach of the most influential literature in this area has been one of ‘weak sustainability’, resonating with the mainstream approach in economics, according to which financial value can be maximised using natural resources without the setting of any ecological limits. In the corporate law and corporate governance literature, where environmental, social and economic sustainability issues are just beginning to make inroads, the approach is often one of discussing the ‘business case’ for sustainability, for internalising environmental and social impacts in corporate decision-making as far as this has a positive effect on long-term financial corporate performance. Implicitly such an approach is also one of ‘weak sustainability’. This Handbook conversely takes a ‘strong sustainability’ approach, based on findings from natural sciences on non-negotiable planetary boundaries within which all human activity must be positioned to ensure a safe operating space for humanity. Further, the Handbook is informed by recognition of the importance of securing fundamental social needs, recognised as a global goal in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and acknowledges the economic and societal risks that pervasive inequality globally and within countries pose.

The Handbook will be edited by Professor Beate Sjåfjell, University of Oslo, and Professor Christopher Bruner, University of Georgia. The editors have issued a Call for Papers, and those tentatively selected to contribute based on the submitted abstracts will be invited to a Cambridge Handbook Symposium in Oslo on 12-14 March 2018, with draft chapters to be submitted to the editors beforehand. Participation at the Symposium is not a condition to contribute to the Handbook, but it is strongly encouraged. The Symposium is expected to enhance the quality of the contributions, reinforce the cohesive nature of the volume, and contribute to the timeliness of the manuscript.

The aim of the Handbook is to present the state-of-the-art of the emerging field of corporate law, corporate governance and sustainability. It will provide an in-depth analysis of the key issues in this field in a comprehensive and cohesive manner. The Handbook will concentrate on regulatory approaches to corporate law, corporate governance and sustainability. Other approaches and disciplines will be drawn upon to cast light on the legal analysis.

The organization of the Handbook reflects the quest for global sustainability, framed by reference to the grand challenge of our time – securing the social foundation for humanity across the globe while remaining within planetary boundaries. The Handbook will canvass the theories that have informed the current state of business and finance, and explore the tension between legal approaches and practical realities with developments in finance challenging our understanding of business.  Together these will form the basis for case studies across the globe on corporate law and corporate governance, leading on to a discussion of possible drivers for corporate sustainability.

These case studies, which will be the heart of the Handbook, will provide in-depth analyses of corporate law and corporate governance in practice in specific jurisdictions and regions. The aim is to provide a representative and in-depth analysis of corporate law and governance in the sustainability context across the globe, giving readers a clear understanding of the varieties of corporate regulatory approaches taken around the world today. The editors welcome contributions on any jurisdiction or region of the world, whether comparative or focused on a single jurisdiction.

The issues are global by nature, and the Handbook will therefore seek to present significant developments in this dynamic area across the globe to capture different perspectives and innovations that may very well occur outside of the mainstream and commercially predominant jurisdictions. The Handbook will conclude with a review of the state of impact of the corporation and corporate law upon these three dimensions of sustainability.

The deadline for the Call is 20 September 2017. For more information about the Call, please contact:

Professor Beate Sjåfjell, University of Oslo Faculty of Law, e-mail: b.k.sjafjell@jus.uio.no

Professor Christopher Bruner, University of Georgia School of Law, e-mail: christopher.bruner@uga.edu

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