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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  

Andreas Rasche

Copenhagen Business School

Dirk Ulrich Gilbert

University of Hamburg

Date Written: December 18, 2011

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Rasche, Andreas and Gilbert, Dirk Ulrich, Institutionalizing Global Governance – The Role of the United Nations Global Compact (December 18, 2011). Business Ethics: A European Review, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 100-114, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1974137

Andreas Rasche (Contact Author)

Copenhagen Business School ( email )

Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000
Denmark

Dirk Ulrich Gilbert

University of Hamburg ( email )

Allende-Platz 1
Hamburg, 20146
Germany

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