Institutionalizing Global Governance – The Role of the United Nations Global Compact
Business Ethics: A European Review, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 100-114, 2011
38 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2011
Date Written: December 18, 2011
The United Nations Global Compact – which is a Global Public Policy Network advocating ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour standards, environmental protection, and anti-corruption – has turned into the world’s largest corporate responsibility initiative. Although the Global Compact is often characterized as a promising way to address global governance gaps, it remains largely unclear why this is the case. To address this problem, we discuss to what extent the initiative represents an institutional solution to exercise global governance. We suggest that new governance modes, which have arisen in the context of globalization, often adopt a multi-actor, multi-level, and network-based approach. We then analyze in how far the Global Compact’s institutional design reflects this multi-actor, multi-level, and network-based steering mode. Drawing on this discussion, we offer suggestions regarding how the initiative can be further developed.
Keywords: United Nations Global Compact, public-private partnerships, soft law, corporate social responsibility, global governance
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