George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School

Forum on Capitalism & the Rule of Law in the Modern Era

Event Details

  • Date:
  • Venue: The Henderson Resort
  • Division: The Henry G. Manne Program in Law & Economics Studies, The Judicial Education Program

Forum on Capitalism & the Rule of Law in the Modern Era

The social, legal, and economic conversation in the United States increasingly centers on “wokeness” and whether it is an appropriate metric for evaluating the soundness of policy.  Is that wokeness driving social and economic changes that threaten to uproot core aspects of capitalism, free market economic policy, and the Rule of Law?  If so, what challenges does wokeness pose?  What insights can law and economics provide to examine this new woke era?

Recent examples of woke shifts include the August 2019 declaration from the Business Roundtable declaring a fundamental change in the purpose of the corporation away from shareholder value maximization; woke shareholder initiatives calls for ESG or corporate social responsibility as duties of corporate directors; and populist appeals to protectionist practices (including in trade and immigration). New challenges to the free enterprise system and the Rule of Law have also emerged in employment law, free speech, education and academia, criminal justice reform, housing policy, immigration, and others.

The Forum brought judges and academics together to hear lectures from leading law professors, economists, political scientists, and historians. After each lecture, breakout sessions were moderated by LEC CapLaw Scholars where participants engaged in deeper discussions on the matters presented.