Corporate Social Responsibility: A Conceptual Challenge to International Law?

J.J.A.Hamers, C.A.Schwarz, and B.T.M. Steins Bisschop (eds.), Noodzaak, plicht of wenselijkheid van Maatschappelijk Verantwoord Ondernemen: een multidisciplinaire verkenning, 2005, 39-62.

25 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2016

See all articles by Janne Elisabeth Nijman

Janne Elisabeth Nijman

T.M.C. Asser Instituut; Amsterdam Center for International Law - University of Amsterdam; The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID)

Date Written: March 2005

Abstract

With the general exclusion of private actors from the universal public order and the inclusion of dualism between the national and international legal order of the late 18th century, the Trans-National Corporation (TNC) was transformed from subject of the law of nations and nature into an object of international law. Only indirectly, by diplomatic protection, was it represented at the international plane. In spite of their global reach, the TNC was subjected to national law only. During the second part of the 20th century, this situation was increasingly addressed as it was seen as (occasionally) unsatisfactory both in practice and theory. The particular nature, interests, influence, and radius of action of the TNC became a conceptual challenge to international law. An attempt to conceptualise CSR in terms of international law thus stands in a longer tradition in which the discourse can not escape from addressing what is also called the public/private dichotomy. The international law discipline has been debating the possibility of bridging the dichotomy with the traditional concept of International Legal Personality. Today, however, an alternative approach to the conceptual challenge posed by the position of the TNC and the Corporate Social Responsibility issue may be necessary. Accordingly, this chapter argues to direct our attention to the emerging field of Global Administrative Law and the framework for analysis that it offers.

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsability, International Law, Non-state actors, Transnational Corporations, Multinational Corporations, international legal personality, Global Administrative Law

JEL Classification: K, N4

Suggested Citation

Nijman, Janne Elisabeth, Corporate Social Responsibility: A Conceptual Challenge to International Law? (March 2005). J.J.A.Hamers, C.A.Schwarz, and B.T.M. Steins Bisschop (eds.), Noodzaak, plicht of wenselijkheid van Maatschappelijk Verantwoord Ondernemen: een multidisciplinaire verkenning, 2005, 39-62., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2744968

Janne Elisabeth Nijman (Contact Author)

T.M.C. Asser Instituut ( email )

P.O. Box 30461
2500 GL The Hague, 2517JN
Netherlands

Amsterdam Center for International Law - University of Amsterdam ( email )

Amsterdam
Netherlands

The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) ( email )

Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2
Geneva, 1202
Switzerland

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