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The prior literature dealing with corporate governance has largely neglected the role of the State, focusing instead on relationships between boards of directors, managing directors, shareholders and other stakeholders. This paper seeks to overcome this limitation through a historical summary of the evolution of the role of the State in corporate governance both in Europe and the United States. Developments in corporate governance have often been associated with financial scandals and crises, leading to interventions by governments in order to restore economic stability and resolve conflicts among contending parties.
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