IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Enterprise Entity and the Constitution of the American Economic Republic


  • Biondi Yuri

    (CNRS, France)


Both Citizens United and the recent debate on opinions provided by rating agencies amid the financial crisis face the problems raised by defining the corporation as a legal person and a legal subject. In contrast, the enterprise entity perspective considers the corporation as an intermediate collective body and a legal object, granted with instrumental legal personality in some circumstances. The legal person view has been historically important to articulate private and public orders, and protect the private domain from abuse of public power. At the same time, it was and still is important to impose some social control and social duties towards the community on enterprise entities, especially in a world where corporations are allowed to own and control other corporations, constituting corporate groups that are autonomous and opaque fields of private power. From this perspective, the definition and role of enterprise entities point to the constitution of legal-economic orders. Drawing upon Deweys suggestion, the corporation can be defined as a functional set of mutual relations that has social consequences, controlled and modified by being the bearing of rights and obligations, privileges and immunities. This understanding embeds the corporation in its social context fraught with immanent conflicts of interest and representation. In this context, the enterprise entity emerges as an overarching principle (and idea) that can foster the unfolding formation of transient social orders. Here the quest for legal-economic principles becomes unavoidable. Like the corporation, these principles acquire duties and rights. They have the right to be tentatively free, which implies two distinctive duties: they are responsible towards reality, because they are expected to guide human actions in situation; and they are responsible towards society, because they are expected to facilitate welfare and justice and liberty in ordering social activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Biondi Yuri, 2011. "The Enterprise Entity and the Constitution of the American Economic Republic," Accounting, Economics, and Law: A Convivium, De Gruyter, vol. 1(3), pages 1-13, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:aelcon:v:1:y:2011:i:3:n:2

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Download restriction for institutions: For access to full text, subscription to the journal is required. Individual readers who register with De Gruyter Online get free access.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Avi-Yonah Reuven S., 2011. "Citizens United and the Corporate Form," Accounting, Economics, and Law: A Convivium, De Gruyter, vol. 1(3), pages 1-56, December.
    2. Bratton William W., 2011. "Reuven Avi-Yonah's "Citizens United and the Corporate Form": Still Unuseful," Accounting, Economics, and Law: A Convivium, De Gruyter, vol. 1(3), pages 1-10, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:bpj:aelcon:v:7:y:2017:i:1:p:8:n:6 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:bpj:aelcon:v:7:y:2017:i:1:p:16:n:4 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:aelcon:v:1:y:2011:i:3:n:2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.