Our annual conferences bring together prestigious scholars from the fields of law, sociology, history, political science, and anthropology to explore the role and impact of the corporation in society.

Browse through materials from previous symposia to see the very best thinking in the social sciences brought to bear on the nature of the modern corporation.

Berle XIII: Inclusive Corporate Leadership

May 19-20, 2022 - Hosted by McGill University, Montreal Canada

Berle XII

May 20-21, 2021 - The 12th annual Berle Symposium XII focused on the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary exploration of corporate capitalism and its interface with religion.

While the corporation and religion have come to the fore in recent years due to the Hobby Lobby decision, the relationship between capitalism and religion has been studied since (at least) Max Weber. In recent years, scholars researching the links between the corporation and religion have examined, for example, the relationship between Confucianism and the corporation in imperial China; Islam and the corporation in the Middle East; Utopias and corporations in antebellum America; religious corporations and disestablishment; and evangelical Christianity and the growth of Wal-Mart in the postwar United States.

Following this interdisciplinary path, symposium participants will include law professors and historians and scholars of religion, presenting papers taking a diverse set of approaches relating to the topic.

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Berle XI

May 16-17, 2019 - The focus of the 11th annual Berle Symposium was to continue and encourage far-reaching conversations as to how we can classify, measure, understand, and change the culture. The law is increasingly involved in corporate culture, significantly through the penumbra of Caremark, the seminal decision on directors' compliance duties, and the broader compliance endeavor. But the law is best served by understanding as much as possible about what a problematic culture is, what contributes to it, and what role law and other tools have to improve the culture within firms. We expect that the symposium will include cross-cultural comparisons and perspectives, approaches to measuring culture, a rich dialog about how different academic and professional fields approach to culture, and the role of research on culture in the real world of corporations and regulatory agencies.

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Berle X

May 17-18, 2018 - The 10th annual Berle Symposium was our celebratory anniversary symposium focused solely on Adolf Berle, himself. The goal is to have Berle X explicitly focus on Berle. And by explicitly focus, it is meant to have all of the papers centrally focus on some aspect of Berle’s various works, and/or centrally focuses on understanding the world in which particularly his early work was developed.

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Berle IX

June 5-6, 2017 - The 9th annual Berle Symposium focused on the broad question of investor time horizons.

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Berle VIII

June 27-28, 2016 - The 8th annual Berle Symposium focused on the benefit corporation, with a particular emphasis on whether the benefit corporation may have a significant role to play for firms that are significant capital market participants, whether publicly or privately held.

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Berle VII

May 26-27, 2015 - The 7th annual Berle Symposium focused on the nature of the modern corporation. This theme is intended to be evocative rather than narrowing.

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Berle VI

June 23-24, 2014 - The 6th annual Berle Symposium focused on Margaret Blair and Lynn Stout's provocative work on the intersection of transaction cost economics and the theory of the firm.

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Berle V

May 12-15, 2013 - Held in Sydney, Australia, the 5th annual Berle Symposium focused on capital markets, the corporation, and the Asian century—governance, accountability, and the future of corporate law

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Berle IV

June 14-15, 2012 - The 4th annual Berle Symposium was held at University College London

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Berle III

January 13-14, 2012 - The 3rd annual Berle Symposium focused on the theory of the firm.

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Berle II

January 21-22, 2011 - The 2nd annual Berle Symposium

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Berle I

2010 - The 1st annual Berle Symposium celebrated the launch of the Adolf A. Berle, Jr. Center on Corporations, Law, and Society

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Contact us

The Berle Center
901 12th Avenue
Sullivan Hall
Seattle, WA 98122-1090

Charles R.T. O'Kelley
Professor & Director

Lori Lamb
Administrative Director