Executives lining their own pockets, corporate directors profiting from insider dealing, cozy arrangements between business and government being exploited to eliminate competition, and shareholders filing lawsuits in protest accused of masterminding a short-selling scheme all sound like another sordid chapter in the financial crises that has gripped the world for the last year and a half but it is, in fact, a 400 year-old story demonstrating that problems of corporate malfeasance are as old as the corporation itself. This volume deals with issues of widespread interest to corporate governance scholars, practitioners and policymakers, including: the origins of investor rights in different markets (with attention to the causes and consequences of significant episodes in the history of shareholder activism), the political, legal and economic conditions that determine levels of shareholder participation, and the implications of variation in investor rights, including the connection between protection of investors and the development of capital markets. It's historical and global approach is unique in the study of shareholder participation. The articles address governance from the medieval to early industrial eras and consider markets as varied as the Netherlands, Venice, the United States and China.
"This interesting collection of essays provides stimulating linkage from the origins of shareholding in the Dutch East India company over 400 years ago to the controversies in our era over executive pay, shareholder rights, and the workings of corporate governance. The chapters enlighten us about past , present and where to go in the future." - Peter Gourevitch, Professor, School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego, and co-author of Political Power and Corporate Control
"This is a fascinating collection of papers on the early evolution of the corporation and shareholder advocacy. The carefully researched descriptions of the introduction of corporate governance in different parts of the world appreciably extend our understanding of the evolution of the corporation and provide important insights into modern corporate governance debates." - Professor Colin Mayer, Peter Moores Dean, Said Business School, University of Oxford