Edited by Alice de Jonge and Roman Tomasic
Chapter 2: Theoretical approaches to global regulation of transnational corporations
This chapter identifies and categorizes theoretical approaches to the regulation of transnational corporations (TNCs), a rapidly growing field of scholarship that is still in flux. Approaches to regulation of TNCs respond to the distinctive issues TNCs raise arising from, for example, their size, form, influence, public–private character, and multi-jurisdictional nature. Their global presence and interconnectedness also create opportunities to advance a wide-range of regulatory purposes, including goals related to development, rights and sustainability. In the decades since the first theory of TNCs was proposed in the 1960s, theoretical approaches for their regulation have developed into a multifaceted, although incomplete, set of theories with which to analyze who, when, why, how, with what effects and for whom TNCs can or should be regulated. This chapter distinguishes six schools of thought: International Legal Theory, Corporate Social Responsibility Theory, Law and Economics Theory, New Governance Theory, Critical Legal Theory, and Law and Religion approaches. The table at the end of this chapter gives an overview of the disciplines used, underlying assumptions, sources of law, key actors and goals of regulation.
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