Reframing the Mandatory Versus Voluntary Debate in Advancing Labor, Environmental and Human Rights Protection

15 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2009

See all articles by Thomas F. McInerney

Thomas F. McInerney

Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Date Written: November 21, 2007

Abstract

The structure of this paper is as follows. First, I analyze what is meant by corporate social responsibility and the nature of the evils that proponents of corporate social responsibility seek to address. Second, I hypothesize the nature of the potential governance arrangements that can be constructed to deal with these concerns. I argue that those governance arrangements are global and that a refined understanding of the changing nature of the state in the contemporary world can help illustrate the precise way in which the notion of global governance should be conceived. To understand the precise configurations for these governance arrangements, I draw from the emerging field of global administrative law. In this context, I argue for a more balanced assessment of the relative contributions of state and non-state actors to the emerging institutional frameworks surrounding issues of corporate social responsibility. Based on this analysis, I suggest that the notion of corporate social responsibility as used in relation to efforts to curtail labor, environmental, and human rights abuses is no longer meaningful and is of little utility in developing a program of work designed to reduce the incidence of such conduct globally.

Keywords: Regulation, global governance, corporate social responsibility, compliance

JEL Classification: K2, K32, K33, K42, L5, O19

Suggested Citation

McInerney, Thomas F., Reframing the Mandatory Versus Voluntary Debate in Advancing Labor, Environmental and Human Rights Protection (November 21, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1480646 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1480646

Thomas F. McInerney (Contact Author)

Loyola University Chicago School of Law ( email )

25 E. Pearson
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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