Modern State-Building and the Rise of the Corporation by Taisu Zhang

5 07 2021

Andrew Smith: I’m sharing the details of interesting-sounding online seminar that sadly is in the middle of the night for us here in Europe.

Modern State-Building and the Rise of the Corporation by Taisu Zhang
Live on Zoom on Thurs, July 8, 2021
09:00 Hong Kong/Beijing/Singapore | 10:00 Tokyo | 11:00 Sydney
Wed, July 7 – 18:00 Los Angeles | 21:00 New York
Convert this into your local time

Register here.

The business corporation and the modern state both emerged very late in human history, but quickly became sociopolitically and economically prominent once they did emerge. Taisu Zhang and his co-author from Yale Law School focus on the genesis of the corporation to explore the links between these two institutions. Unlike preexisting theories that view the relationship between the two as a predominantly negative one—that the state’s primary role in the rise of the corporation was to credibly constrain its own use of coercive power—they argue that the state also positively contributed to the corporation’s emergence. In fact, the modern state’s positive contributions were so significant that they were likely indispensable: it is no coincidence that the business corporation did not become socioeconomically prominent until after the ascendancy of modern state building.

Taisu Zhang and his co-author first argue that there will be significant demand for the modern corporate form only after complex, long-duration business collaboration between strangers becomes economically prominent. They then argue that, within the context of trans-communal business relationships, the business corporation can only emerge with robust institutional support from a sufficiently modern state, in the form of legal enforcement, dispute resolution, and information sharing. In this Quantitative History Webinar, Taisu Zhang explores the argument that modern state building is necessary to the success of the modern corporation because the law that enables corporations requires uniform enforcement.

Taisu’s co-author: John Morley (Yale Law School)

Looking forward,
Quantitative History Webinar Series

Zhiwu Chen & Chicheng Ma



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