Friday, March 12, 2021 at 11:00 AM EST
Saturday, March 13, 2021 at 3:00 PM EST

Add to Calendar 


Zoom - Links will be sent to participants 
Atlanta, GA 30322

Driving Directions 


Mangala Kanayson 
The Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative 

A Workshop on Vulnerability Theory, the Employment Relationship, and the State  

Vulnerability theory identifies the human condition as one of universal and constant vulnerability. That vulnerability is managed and mediated through the creation of social institutions and relationships. As part of the state mechanism for distributing social goods and ensuring society’s welfare, those institutions ultimately can and should be judged by how responsive they are to human vulnerability.  

This workshop seeks to look at the status of workers in a corporate system, considering how corporations have changed from grudgingly addressing human vulnerability within a capitalist scheme of wage labor, to increasing rejection of the very idea that human vulnerability should be a matter of corporate concern.   

In the middle of the twentieth century, corporate America oversaw a “family wage system” that promised secure employment with benefits to a large swath of white men. Within this patriarchal system, the “organization man” saw his future as tied to the success of his company, while corporate leaders saw the health of their organizations linked to the fate of the country. Provisions for old age, family dependents, illness, and injury were part of a comprehensive system that united corporate and workers’ interests, while also recognizing the significance of societal institutions, such as the family. By contrast, today, the characterization of the corporation as solely an instrument to advance private ends permits corporate leaders to ignore workers’ increased insecurity, often at the expense of other stakeholders and even the corporation itself. The result creates artificially competitive cultures that increase societal inequality and instability, reduce diversity, and undermine efforts to make employment more responsive to individual worker’s, as well as societal needs.  

We intend this workshop to cover an array of topics that center on the legal and ideological or conceptual “evolution” of the corporation in relation to its legitimizing societal role in responding to human vulnerability. We welcome the participation of scholars working in law and related disciplines, including economics, community development, history, political science, sociology, and social psychology.

Listed event times are subject to change.

Workshop Panelists:

Naomi R. Cahn (University of Virginia)

June Carbone (University of Minnesota)

Anne Choike (Wayne State University)

Nancy Levit (University of Missouri - Kansas CIty)

Rachel Mathieson (University of Leeds)

Rich Phan (University of Melbourne)

Faith Stevelman (New York Law School)

Lua K. Yuille (University of Kansas)

Yiran Zhang (Harvard Law School)