Mark Freeman, Robin Pearson and James Taylor

in Shareholder Democracies?

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780226261874
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226261881 | DOI:

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The tension between executive power and representation was present at the birth of democracy. It is true that two key features of the Athenian constitution are alien to modern constitutions: first, most offices of state, including membership in the council, were mostly by selection than by election; second, the assembly held an annual ticket vote to ostracize the individual deemed most likely to threaten democratic government. This issue lies at the heart of this book. The principal finding is that there was a convergence in the forms of power and representation in politics and business in the world's first industrializing nation, namely Great Britain. The chapters of the book focus on the internal governance regimes of these companies as the latter worked out what each perceived to be the optimal allocation of rights and obligations among shareholders, directors, and managers. The study comprises both companies incorporated by royal charter or act of Parliament and unincorporated companies that existed under English, Irish, and Scottish law as mere partnerships without a separate corporate legal identity.

Keywords: executive power; politics; business; industrialization; corporate governance; economy

Chapter.  7340 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic History

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