Annual Adolf A. Berle Symposium on Corporation, Law and Society

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 XII

Berle XII will be an 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 in this interdisciplinary path, symposium participants will include not only law professors but historians, and scholars of religion, presenting papers taking a diverse set of approaches relating to the topic.

Berle XI

May 16-17, 2019 - At the symposium, we hope to continue and encourage far-reaching conversations as to how we can classify, measure, understand, and change 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 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 culture within firms. We expect that the symposium will include cross-cultural comparisons and perspectives, approaches to measuring culture, a rich dialog as to how different academic and professional fields approach culture, and the role of research on culture in the real world of corporations and regulatory agencies.

Berle X

May 17-18, 2018 - The focus for our celebratory tenth annual symposium is 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.

Berle IX

June 5 - 6, 2017 - The focus for our ninth annual symposium is the broad question of investor time horizons.

Berle VIII

June 27 - 28, 2016 - The focus for our eighth annual symposium—Berle VIII—is 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.

Berle VII

May 26-27, 2015 - The focus for our seventh annual symposium—Berle VII—was the nature of the modern corporation. This “theme” is intended to be evocative rather than narrowing.

Berle VI

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

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

Berle IV

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

Berle III

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

Berle II

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

Berle I

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