Guest lecture by Professor David Whyte on "Corporate Citizenship and Liberal Law"
Professor David Whyte from the University of Liverpool gave a lecture on "Corporate Citizenship and Liberal Law" on 19 September 2018 . The lecture dealt with a concept that has permeated discussions about the corporation in the early 21st century: “corporate citizen”. The lecture provided interesting analysis on how the process of ascribing corporate citizenship has become a mechanism through which inequality is reproduced in liberal democracies.
Drawing upon a wide range of historical and empirical evidence, Professor Whyte argued that the rights and duties applied to corporations are not strictly analogous to the corresponding rights and responsibilities of real flesh and blood citizens. Corporate citizenship implies a set of exceptional powers and privileges that combine to produce a "supra-sovereign" subject that is empowered to enjoy sovereign protections and rights far-exceeding those that any ordinary citizen could expect.
Connections between law and corporate power, regulation of business and the ways that the law maintains and reproduces violence are among central research interests of Professor Whyte. In his current project he investigates the nature and scale of corruption in the Global North. Professor Whyte is a frequent visitor at the Faculty. While visiting the Faculty of Law in September 2018 he taught a course on Corporate Crime, Law and Power together with Professor Anne Alvesalo Kuusi and Professor Steve Tombs.