Research Handbook on Transnational Corporations
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Research Handbook on Transnational Corporations

Edited by Alice de Jonge and Roman Tomasic

Transnational corporations (TNCs) have moved to the forefront of regulatory governance both within states and in the international arena. The Research Handbook on Transnational Corporations provides expert background commentary and up-to-date insights into regulatory frameworks impacting on TNCs at global, industry and national levels. Written by global experts in their field, this unique collection of essays provides in-depth understanding of how the forces of globalisation affect the world’s largest corporations, and how those corporations, in turn, shape globalisation.
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Chapter 2: Theoretical approaches to global regulation of transnational corporations

Rachel J. Anderson


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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