Human Rights, Transnational Corporations, and Embedded Liberalism: What Chance Consensus?
36 Pages Posted: 24 May 2014
Date Written: May 23, 2014
This paper contextualises current debates over human rights and transnational corporations. More specifically, we begin by first providing the background to John Ruggie’s appointment as ‘Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises’. Second, we provide a brief discussion of the rise of transnational corporations, and of their growing importance in terms of global governance. Third, we introduce the notion of human rights, and note some difficulties associated therewith. Fourth, we refer to Ruggie’s scholarly work on ‘embedded liberalism’, the ‘global public domain’, and ‘social constructivism’. Following this, we refer to the other five papers contained in this Journal of Business Ethics special issue, ‘Spheres of Influence/Spheres of Responsibility: Multinational Corporations and Human Rights’, and consider some of the potential obstacles to Ruggie’s recent suggestion that a ‘new consensus’ has formed, or is forming, around his ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ framework. We conclude by raising questions regarding the processes of consensus-building around, and the operationalisation of, Ruggie’s ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ framework.
Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, Embedded Liberalism, Global Governance, Human Rights, International Affairs, John Ruggie, Multinational Corporations (MNCs), Regulation of Markets, Social Constructivism, Transnational Corporations (TNCs)
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