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The Corporate Condition

By Jeroen Veldman


In this dissertation I aim to establish that the contemporary theory of incorporation rests on incoherent assumptions.\ud Using a historical approach, I distinguish three different historical discursive formations underlying the contemporary concept of incorporation. On the basis of a comparison of these three historical discursive formations I argue that the contemporary representation of incorporation is a result of the simultaneous use of these three formations, while the last discursive formation has become dominant.\ud This leads to a description of two problems of justification. The first problem is that in the contemporary theory of incorporation the three historical discursive formations, with their mutually exclusive assumptions, are all maintained in order to retain their practical effects. The second problem is that the assumptions underlying the third discursive formation are dominant, although this discursive formation employs a theory of representation that rejects the fundamental assumptions of the previous discursive formations. Together, these two problems lead to a contemporary theory of incorporation that relates to three historical discursive formations for their effects, but relates incoherently and inconsistently to the historical justifications for these effects.\ud I will argue that, as a result of this incoherence and inconsistency, the contemporary theory of incorporation introduces a singular reified representation, which leads to a reconceptualization of the basic concept of representation in the legal, economic, social and political systems of representations. Then, I will argue that this reconceptualization strongly favours incorporated reified singular legal representations over the legal, economic and political representation of natural persons. On this basis, I will conclude that the contemporary theory of incorporation leads to legal, economic, social and political theory that is based on fundamentally unequal types of representation with structural unequal attributions of agency, ownership and rights

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2011
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