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The Financial Crisis: A Reason to Improve Shareholder Protection in the EU?

Mukwiri, Jonathan; Siems, Mathias

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Mathias Siems


The global financial crisis of 2008 has stimulated the debate on corporate governance and shareholder protection. The intuitive reason for the topicality of shareholder protection is that insolvencies mainly harm shareholders as the companies' residual claimants. In addition, ideally, shareholder empowerment may ensure better monitoring of management and therefore better-run companies preventing corporate failures and benefiting the economy as a whole. Yet, it is not self-evident that shareholder participation has such a positive effect. This article critically examines the discussion about the relationship between the financial crisis, shareholder protection, and law reform. We also develop a central position: while there may be a need to improve shareholder protection, we do not take the view that any increase in shareholder rights is the right way forward; rather, such reforms should aim to encourage shareholder engagement by responsible long-term investors.


Mukwiri, J., & Siems, M. (2014). The Financial Crisis: A Reason to Improve Shareholder Protection in the EU?. Journal of Law and Society, 41(1), 51-72.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 5, 2013
Online Publication Date Feb 18, 2014
Publication Date Mar 1, 2014
Deposit Date Oct 29, 2012
Publicly Available Date Jan 20, 2015
Journal Journal of Law and Society
Print ISSN 0263-323X
Electronic ISSN 1467-6478
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 41
Issue 1
Pages 51-72


Accepted Journal Article (176 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is the accepted version of the following article: Mukwiri, Jonathan and Siems, Mathias (2014) 'The financial crisis : a reason to improve shareholder protection in the EU?', Journal of law and society., 41 (1). pp. 51-72, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

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