25 Oct
10:00 - 17:30
An ICGI & METRO Joint Event

Agency Theory in the 21st Century


Maastricht University, Faculty of Law (FdR), Bouillonstraat 1-3, Maastricht

October 25th. 2019


The Institute for Corporate Governance and Innovation Policies (ICGI) and Institute for Transnational Legal Research (METRO) will host an interdisciplinary conference on ‘AGENCY THEORY IN THE 21st CENTURY’ at the Faculty of Law in Maastricht.

Agency theory – the economic analysis of relationships between agents and principals – is influential and has spread well beyond its economic roots into a variety of disciplines, including law, political science, sociology, corporate governance and finance. It is used by scholars to design efficient institutions, structure individual incentives, prevent corporate corruption and compare institutional arrangements. Reliance on agency theory in these areas has, unfortunately, not prevented corporate scandals and suboptimal rates of trust in business and other institutions. The overarching aim of this conference is to address these issues in an interdisciplinary and international setting.

The first part of the conference therefore invites an interdisciplinary and international range of speakers to reflect on the role and future of agency theory in their respective disciplines. The underlying assumptions, theoretical foundations, increasing sphere of influence and consequent impacts will be explored. Each speaker will be invited to discuss whether their discipline’s approach to agency theory is adequate for the needs and challenges of the 21st century.

The second part comprises a roundtable discussion with active participation from the audience. Questions on the theoretical background, interpretation, transposition and methodology of agency theory will be debated with a moderator leading the discussion. Following the conference, the organisers will assemble these interdisciplinary discussions and presentations and prepare a conference report for publication.


10.00-10.30 Registration & coffee

Introduction - Damla Bos, LLM - Maastricht University


Prof. David Cabrelli and Dr. Ewa Kruszewska - The University of Edinburgh
“The Limits of Agency Theory”


Prof. Joeri Vananroye - KU Leuven
“The Blind Spots of Agency Theory in Corporate Finance Law"

12.30-13.20 Lunch Break in room B0.006 
13.20-14.10 Dr. Jean-Philippe Robé - SciencesPo Law School

"Being Done with Milton Friedman”

14.10-15.00 Constantijn van Aartsen, LLM - Maastricht University

“Agency Theory in the 21st Century: Legitimate, Reductionist and Overapplied"

15.00-15.30 Coffee break
15.30-17.00 Roundtable discussion
17.00-17.30 Closing – Prof. Mieke Olaerts - Maastricht University



Partly subsidized by SWOL 

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