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Joel Bakan

The Corporation, 2004

Photograph of Joel BakanAbout the Author

Joel Conrad Bakan (born 1959) is a Canadian lawyer and writer. Bakan was born in Lansing, Michigan, and raised for most of his childhood in East Lansing, Michigan, where his parents, Paul and Rita Bakan, were both long-time professors in psychology at Michigan State University. In 1971, he moved with his parents to Vancouver, British Columbia. He was educated at Simon Fraser University (BA, 1981), University of Oxford (BA in law, 1983) and Dalhousie University (LLB, 1984).

Bakan served as a law clerk to Brian Dickson in 1985; during his tenure as clerk, Chief Justice Dickson authored the judgment R. v. Oakes, which allows rea-sonable limitations on rights and freedoms through legislation if it can be ‘demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society’, among others. He then pursued a Master’s degree at Harvard Law School. After graduation, he returned to Canada, where he has taught law at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University and the University of British Columbia.

The Corporation, published in 2004, was made into a film the same year and won 25 international awards. He is also the author of a number of books on Canadian constitutional law. He established the Marlee Klein Memorial Lectures in Social Justice to commemorate his first wife’s contributions to Canadian law and feminist legal theory, after she died of leukaemia in 2001. He is now married to Canadian actress and singer Rebecca Jenkins.

Top 10 Ideas

Download Joel Bakan's Top 10 Ideas from the interview.

Interview Transcript

Download a transcript of the interview.

Joel Bakan: Part 1, The History and Pathology of The Corporation

In this video, Joel Bakan, co-author of The Corporation (2004), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about the history and pathology of the corporation with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 5 August 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

Joel Bakan: Part 2, The Pathology of The Corporation

In this video, Joel Bakan, co-author of The Corporation (2004), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about the pathology of the corporation with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 5 August 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

Joel Bakan: Part 3, Corporate Social Responsibility

In this video, Joel Bakan, co-author of The Corporation (2004), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about corporate social responsibility with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 5 August 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

Joel Bakan: Part 4, The Benevolence of Corporations?

In this video, Joel Bakan, co-author of The Corporation (2004), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about the benevolence of corporations with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 5 August 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

Joel Bakan: Part 5, The Shareholder Value Proposition

In this video, Joel Bakan, co-author of The Corporation (2004), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about the shareholder value proposition with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 5 August 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

Joel Bakan: Part 6, Regulating the Corporation

In this video, Joel Bakan, co-author of The Corporation (2004), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about regulating the corporation with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 5 August 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

Joel Bakan: Part 7, Accountability

In this video, Joel Bakan, co-author of The Corporation (2004), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about accountability with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 5 August 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

Joel Bakan: Part 8, Corporate Governance

In this video, Joel Bakan, co-author of The Corporation (2004), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about corporate governance with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 5 August 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

Joel Bakan: Part 9, Emerging Economies and the Future of the Corporation

In this video, Joel Bakan, co-author of The Corporation (2004), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about emerging economies and the future of the corporation with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 5 August 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

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Other Books (Selection)

Social Justice and the Constitution: Perspectives on a Social Union for Canada (with David Schneiderman; Carleton University Press, 1993)

Just Words: Constitutional Rights and Social Wrongs (University of Toronto Press, 1997)

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