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Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy x Jaar 2018 x

Lukas van den Berge
Lukas van den Berge is assistant professor of legal theory at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Artikel

Access_open Personhood and legal status: reflections on the democratic rights of corporations

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 1 2018
Trefwoorden Corporations, democracy, legal personality, personhood, inclusion
Auteurs Ludvig Beckman
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Corporations can have rights but whether they should also have democratic rights depends among other things on whether they are the kind of entities to which the democratic ideal applies. This paper distinguishes four different conceptions of “the person” that can have democratic rights. According to one view, the only necessary condition is legal personality, whereas according to the other three views, democratic inclusion is conditioned also by personhood in the natural sense of the term. Though it is uncontroversial that corporations can be legal persons, it is plausible to ascribe personhood in the natural sense to corporations only if personhood is conceptualized exclusively in terms of moral agency. The conclusion of the paper is that corporations can meet the necessary conditions for democratic inclusion but that it is not yet clear in democratic theory exactly what these conditions are.


Ludvig Beckman
Ludvig Beckman is professor of political science at Stockholm University.
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