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Free BurmaTransnational Legal Action and Corporate Accountability$
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John G. Dale

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816646463

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816646463.001.0001

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Corporate “Death Penalty”: Executing Charter Revocation

Corporate “Death Penalty”: Executing Charter Revocation

(p.141) 4 Corporate “Death Penalty”: Executing Charter Revocation
Free Burma

John G. Dale

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter is concerned with the first of two campaigns organized by Free Burma activists against the Unocal Oil Corporation. This campaign sought to mobilize Californians to petition for the nullification of Unocal’s corporate charter, effectively stripping the corporation of its rights and power to exist. Both campaigns applied transnationalist discourses on corporate governance and targeted the relationship between states and corporations, stressing that states, as regulators, are the enforcers of human rights norms against corporate misconduct. The alliance between Free Burma activists and the California-based affiliates of national, nonprofit, and public interest organizations combined three discourses that were new to the Free Burma movement: the state’s power to revoke corporate charters, the corporation as a state-constituted, nonhuman entity, and the recidivist offender as deserving of exclusion from the community.

Keywords:   Free Burma activists, Unocal Oil Corporation, corporate charter, transnationalist discourse, corporate governance, Free Burma movement

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