Comparative and International Corporate Governance

Course summary

The course focuses on the theory, law and practice of the governance of corporations across different jurisdictions. Corporate governance regulates the relationships between various corporate constituencies (directors, officers, majority and minority shareholders, employees, creditors) with a view to establishing an adequate system of controls that prevents any single corporate constituency from acquiring overriding power or influence. Because legal systems rank social priorities differently, several models of corporate governance have emerged worldwide. Corporate governance has become a key topic for legislators, practitioners, and academics in all modern industrial states. It has been increasingly recognised as an important element of sustainable development. Consequently, comparative knowledge and understanding of corporate governance are essential tools for business lawyers and policy makers, especially after the recent financial crisis which highlighted some shortcomings of the corporate governance systems.


  1. Fundamental Concepts of Corporate Governance
  2. WThe Legal Foundations of Corporate Governance
  3. Politics and Culture as Drivers of Corporate Governance
  4. Corporate Governance Codes: Origins, Perspectives, Enforcement 
  5. Directors, Board Structure and Board Effectiveness
  6. The Role of Gatekeepers in Corporate Governance 
  7. Transparency, Corporate Reporting and Risk Management
  8. Shareholder Activism and Corporate Governance
  9. Corporate Social Responsibility 
  10. Globalisation and Corporate Governance

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students should be able to:

  • Understand the meaning and relevance of the main concepts and theories of corporate governance;
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive and critical understanding of the role and responsibilities of directors, shareholders and other corporate stakeholders;
  • Analyse the effects of corporate scandals and crises on corporate governance principles;
  • Demonstrate key research, writing and communication skills.


One essay of up to 4,000 words (60%); one individual assignment (20%); contribution to weekly online discussions throughout the semester (20%).

Terms and conditions

Please note the University reserves the right to make variations to the contents of programmes, including the range of courses offered, and the available choice of courses in any given year may change.

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