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Abstract

The hundredth anniversary of Dodge v. Ford marks an occasion to reflect upon what, if anything, has changed about shareholder primacy in a century. Seizing this opportunity, in this Article I analyze new local laws and ordinances that promote stakeholder governance and engagement, which seek to protect the interests of non-shareholder constituencies such as workers, the environment, and the communities in which corporations operate, among others. In doing so, I argue that such local laws meaningfully differ from traditional stakeholder protections, most significantly in the way that they weaken managerial accountability to shareholders. The emergence of these city laws challenges – and thus creates a new urban front for – shareholder primacy, with both practical implications for the community benefits movement as well as theoretical implications for our understanding of corporate law.

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