Corporate Codes in the Varieties of Capitalism: How Their Enforcement Depends Upon the Difference between Production Regimes
In: Anna Beckers (Hrsg.) Enforcing Corporate Social Responsibility (2015); ISBN: 9781849468992
Indiana Journal of International Law 22, 2016
12 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2018
Date Written: 2015
Globalization has re-enforced the conflicts between the varieties of capitalism. The colliding units are not just nation states, but transnational production regimes. The conflicts lead global corporate codes which are developed by international organizations to develop in different directions when they are concretized on the enterprise level. They will be entirely differently enforced according to whether they are located in Liberal Market Economies (LME) adapted to the New Sovereignty of enterprises, or in Coordinated Market Economies (CME) with greater components of social welfare state and economic democracy.
Different patterns of enforcement emerge particularly when the courts have to decide whether or not corporate codes are legally binding. Multinational corporations seek by any means to keep the courts out. For them, interpretation, application and enforcement of the codes are exclusively a matter of private ordering. Thus they insist that their “voluntary” codes are legally non-binding. Accordingly, American courts are very reluctant when public interest litigation pushes them to implement the codes as legally binding rules.
The chances of enforcement appear different in continental Europe. If they are adapted into thoroughly regulated neo-corporate arrangements, then the codes will be confronted with stronger legislative activities and at the same time with stronger enforcements by the courts. In the EU the codes of conduct will have to adapt to the principles of the welfare state and economic democracy.
Keywords: corporate codes, codes of conduct, neo-corporatism, varieties of capitalism, economic democracy
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