Handbook of Research on Global Corporate Citizenship
Show Less

Handbook of Research on Global Corporate Citizenship

Edited by Andreas Georg Scherer and Guido Palazzo

The Handbook of Research on Global Corporate Citizenship identifies and fosters key interdisciplinary research on corporate citizenship and provides a framework for further academic debate on corporate responsibility in a global society.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 16: Human Rights, Corporations and the Global Economy: An International Law Perspective

David Kinley and Justine Nolan


1 David Kinley and Justine Nolan Introduction The many and various features of the global economy and the centrality of corporations within it, have a direct and enduring impact on the quest to better protect and promote human rights. That impact, of course, cuts both ways. Consider, for instance, such recent events as the United Nation’s appointment of a Special Representative to the Secretary-General on human rights and corporations;2 the World Bank’s proclamation that ‘human rights are the very essence of the Bank’s work’;3 and the entreaties made of the world’s principal trading nations at the last World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial meeting in Hong Kong of the sclerotic Doha Round (which, at the time of writing, limps on still),4 to leverage global trade for the benefit of securing basic human rights of the poor,5 all of which bear testimony to the two dimensions of this debate – an appreciation of the global economy’s great potential not only to help but also to hamper the objects of human rights. What is striking about this potential is the extent to which it relies upon – indeed, to a significant degree, is driven by – private non-state actors, namely corporations. Transnational corporations (TNCs) in particular, are the engines of the global economy; they have become the ‘Behemoths’ as Noreena Hertz calls them, whose power has been ‘propelled by government policies of privatisation, deregulation and trade liberalisation, and the advances of communications technologies of the past twenty years’ (Hertz 2001,...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.