Legal Models Beyond the Corporation
Research in this workstream focuses on the interplay between law, regulation and governance in relation to the legal structure of private economic entities, particularly alternatives to the standard joint stock corporation form. These alternatives range from a renascence of interest (particularly in light of the rise of digital technology) in both older legal forms such as the cooperative, as well as new legal entity forms developed in response to the rise of interest in social enterprise in the UK, US and Canada (for example benefit corporations and community interest companies). We research these issues from a broad interdisciplinary perspective that encompasses the economic, political, social and cultural effects of institutional experimentation in this area.
The research engages with alternative corporate forms from four directions in more depth:
1. In relation to debates over whether Australia could benefit from developing a specific legal entity form for social enterprise, working closely with the Legal Models Working Group.
2. In relation to the contribution of 'green' social enterprise to a more sustainable and climate-resilient economy, working in parallel with the recent rise of platform cooperativism
3. In relation to the rise of the sharing economy: "The Rooftop Revolution" - Social Activism and Social Enterprise
4. In relation to community-owned renewable energy initiative in Australia and Scotland (the PhD research of Jarra Hicks)