Co-Constructing Business Governance

31 Stan. L. & Pol'y Rev. 143 (2020)

44 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2019 Last revised: 23 Oct 2020

See all articles by Trang (Mae) Nguyen

Trang (Mae) Nguyen

Temple University Beasley School of Law; New York University School of Law; University of California Berkeley School of Law

Date Written: July 29, 2019


This Article explores how to structure global enterprises to make a positive contribution to economic development when many of the host states of corporate activities are non-democratic. In today’s globalized world, global supply chains are dominated by authoritarian regimes: China is “the world’s factory,” and nearby countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia are popular “China Plus One” destinations. Literature on transnational business governance, however, has largely dismissed the potential of host states as willing or able regulators of supply chain conduct. I argue that because authoritarian regimes directly regulate global supply chains, today’s transnational business governance is enmeshed with host states’ autocratic agendas. This necessitates studying and understanding the structure and underlying logic of “authoritarian legality”; that is, a system designed to derive benefits from formal law and legal institutions while minimizing risk to political stability and social control. Only by understanding the political economy of autocratic systems and matching the incentives of actors involved can international and transnational law bridge the so-called “governance gap” created by the globalized, fragmented nature of supply chains. Drawing insights from comparative law and sociolegal studies of authoritarian regimes, this Article examines three case studies—China, Vietnam, and Cambodia—to illustrate how the logic of authoritarian legality drives transnational business governance in each respective jurisdiction. It ends with a normative suggestion: Mediation—a form of non-judicial remedy that so far has attracted little attention in the context of business and human rights—can be a viable forum for business-related human rights disputes in autocratic host states.

Keywords: Business Governance, Corporate Social Responsibility, Comparative Law, Authoritarianism, Asia

JEL Classification: K20, K22, K33

Suggested Citation

Nguyen, Trang (Mae), Co-Constructing Business Governance (July 29, 2019). 31 Stan. L. & Pol'y Rev. 143 (2020), Available at SSRN:

Trang (Mae) Nguyen (Contact Author)

Temple University Beasley School of Law ( email )

1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

HOME PAGE: http://

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States


University of California Berkeley School of Law ( email )

2240 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics