Human Rights, Transnational Corporations, and Embedded Liberalism: What Chance Consensus?

36 Pages Posted: 24 May 2014

See all articles by Glen Whelan

Glen Whelan

McGill University - Desautels Faculty of Management

Jeremy Moon

Nottingham University Business School (NUBS)

Marc Orlitzky

University of South Australia - School of Management

Date Written: May 23, 2014

Abstract

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)

Suggested Citation

Whelan, Glen and Moon, Jeremy and Orlitzky, Marc, Human Rights, Transnational Corporations, and Embedded Liberalism: What Chance Consensus? (May 23, 2014). Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 87, No. Supplement 2, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2441147

Glen Whelan (Contact Author)

McGill University - Desautels Faculty of Management ( email )

1001 Sherbrooke St. West
Montreal, Quebec H3A1G5 H3A 2M1
Canada

Jeremy Moon

Nottingham University Business School (NUBS) ( email )

Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom
+44 0 115 9514781 (Phone)

Marc Orlitzky

University of South Australia - School of Management ( email )

Australia

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